If you like both crème brulée and citrus fruits, then you're going to love this citrus crème caramel! The custard base is the same one that's used in a classic French crème brulée, but the topping is much different. It uses slightly more exotic citrus fruits like kumquat and combines those sweet-sour flavors with a creamy vanilla flavor and homemade caramel sauce.
If you've never tried a kumquat, now's your chance! They're unique not only for their small size and particularly sour flavor, but also for their rinds, which are completely edible and quite sweet.
For this recipe, we recommend buying a large custard or flan mold with edges that slant outward – this will make turning out the custard onto a serving dish so much easier.
Crème Caramel with Exotic Citrus Compote
Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 25 min
4 cups whole milk (1 liter)
4 eggs + 3 yolks
2 vanilla pods
2.5 cups of sugar (475 grams)
2 cups orange juice (50 cl)
4 clementines (tangerines or mandarins will work too)
1 10-inch (22cm) mold that has slanted sides
- Split the vanilla pods in half lengthwise and scrape out the black seeds into a saucepan. Add the milk and remaining pod shells, then heat on medium until hot – not boiling – for about 10 minutes, or longer to further infuse the vanilla flavor into your milk. (If you have the time, you can do this the day before and let the milk-vanilla mixture infuse overnight in the fridge after heating).
- As your milk is heating up, take a bowl and whisk together the eggs and yolks with about 3/4 cup of the sugar (175 g) for 30 seconds, then gradually add the hot milk (vanilla pods removed), while stirring. Filter and let stand 15 min.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Prepare a shallow ice bath in your sink. In a saucepan, heat about 2.5 tablespoons of water with a little over 1/2 cup of the sugar (150 g) over medium-high heat, stirring until you obtain a caramel colored syrup, about 6-8 min. Stop cooking by immediately immersing the bottom of the pan into the ice bath.
- Pour the caramel into your mold and tilt to coat the sides. Then pour the milk mixture on top.
- Place your mold into a baking dish with sides, then fill the dish with very hot or boiling water until it comes up the sides of the mold about halfway, then bake for 2 hours or until set.
- Allow to cool to room temperature and then place in fridge. Meanwhile, bring the orange juice and remaining sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Leave on low heat for 10 min.
- Cut the lemon and the clementines (or tangerines or mandarins) into slices, cut the kumquats into halves. Cook them in orange syrup for 30 minutes over very low heat. Let them cool in their syrup.
- To serve, use a very thin spatula or sharp knife to cut around the edges, then carefully invert it onto a serving dish (submerge the sides of the mold in a little warm water to loosen it up if necessary, and do this over a sink just in case some caramel decides to run free). Top it with your candied fruits and a bit of syrup and serve!