Creme Brulee With Mastic

img_4559Cooking, food, menu planning is as much about your culinary upbringing as it is about your instincts.

Sometimes I’m wrong about a recipe or new riff on a classic. Thank goodness I’m right most of the time. Case in point was this Creme Brulee with Mastic.img_4316-2

Although there are some savory applications for mastic, it seems that this unique Greek spice is more at home in liqueuers, desserts and baked items. I had not ever tasted a Creme Brulee with Mastic but I rolled the dice just before Greek Easter.img_4319

Based on the aroma alone, when the ground mastc, vanilla extract simmered in the cream, I knew (was confident) this dessert would work but one is never sure until the final taste-test, are ya?

After a long “Ummmmm” and and equally long exhale, the creme brulee with mastic proved to be a tasty success. I am declaring creme brulee to be one of the easiest, still classiest and delicious desserts one can have. Oh sure, it’s all heavy cream but you deserve a decadent treat every now & then. I deserve a decadent treat every now & then.img_4549

The great thing about creme brulee is it’s versatility with flavouring. One could easily raid the liquor cabinet and choose any bottle and spike the cream with it to add a new flavour.

Think of a nut flavouring, a spice (I chose mastic this time) or a tea? Find a reliable creme brulee recipe and the rest is up to you for interpretation. As for putting the “brulee” in the “creme”…you have two options:img_4558

  1. Buy a kitchen torch;
  2. Use your broiler

I finally splurged on a kitchen torch. Most are quite affordable and they do the job rather well. Gather your friends and family and show off your nifty & new little kitchen toy.

How did I do?

Creme Brulee With Masticimg_4560

(serves eight)

3 cups of whipping cream

8 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

4-5 mastic (mastiha) teardrops, ground

extra sugar for brulee

pre-heated 350Foven

  1. Pound your mastic tears into a powder using your mortar & pestle or place the mastic tears in between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a heavy kitchen instrument until powder form.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, add your cream, vanilla extract and ground mastc and over medium heat, bring to a steaming hot heat. Take off the heat and cover. Wait a few minutes before whisking into your eggs/sugar mixture.
  3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until incorporated. After you’ve allowed your hot cream to cool a bit, pour into the bowl with egg/sugar mixture while whisking. Pass the mixture through a fine strainer to remove any cooked bits.
  4. Divide among eight 6.oz ramekins. Place in one large (or two smaller pans) and pour in enough boiling water into the pans to come halfway up the ramekin (this is called a “bain marie”).
  5. Place on the middle rack of your pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the centers still jiggle. Remove the ramekins from the water and let cool. Cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours.
  6. To serve with the “brulee” topping, sprinkle some white sugar on top and using your kitchen torch, melt and caramelize the sugar until a deep brown colour. Allow the ramekins to cool for a couple of minutes and serve with a spoon. Get cracking!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at  http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

© 2009,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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53 Comments for “Creme Brulee With Mastic”

says:

How did you do? *DYING OVER HERE*

Peter, seriously, I always say I don’t like sweets, but all these years the ONE dessert I would eat is creme brulee and it was because of the crispy top. You have made my day with your photos!

Nice take on it with mastic too. :)

says:

I’m loving the experiment Peter! Bring it on! I can easily see how this would work..great thinking! The brulee looks decadent alright! Bravo!

says:

I love the cracked burned sugar on the top of this dessert. I’ve never tried mastic before – have to put that on the list.

says:

YUM!!! The kitchen gadget that still keeps in my dream is kitchen blow torch. I don’t know why I just can’t purchase it while I am mad on purchasing lenses! The brulee looks so velvety smooth and crunchy on top. WOW!

says:

This is my very favorite dessert – yours looks perfect. I love the crunchy sugar coating on top – mmmm good.

says:

Always been intrigued with using mastic. This sounds like a great first mastic recipe to try (if I can find it, that is).

says:

Delicious looking brulee, i made the two weeks baxk ( still have to post) i used the blow torch but didn’t add a lot of sugar so ddin’t get the same caramel top like you.
Looks crackingly delicous.

says:

I have never been the world’s biggest creme brulee fan, but after seeing your first picture I think I just changed my mind. :)

says:

Oh, so yummy. Must try this – will be my first attempt at this type of desert delight. Now self and Mum did buy my Dad a kitchen style blow torch following his wonder at seeing them on tv a couple of years back.

Dear Dad has since used his to remove old paint off the window frames!!

Will be up visiting them in a few weeks time. Creme Brulee on my cooking list!

Many thanks for your wonderful cooking temptations, hope your Springtime remains beautiful

Michelle/Mickle in Wellington, NZ

says:

that’s true though, once you smell the flavors cooking together, forming a nice happy balance you can tell by the smell alone that it’s gonna work!
nice!

says:

I’m the universe’s rarebird that doesn’t like creme brulee but I have to give it up to you and your torching ability. The carmelized top looks great.

says:

i’ve been meaning to try this for ages, your photos are really tempting
more of that mastic – maybe tsikoudia could be a good substitute (i’ve noticed in cretan cooking, a dash of reaki goes into most things a northern greek would add mastic or ouzo to)

says:

Those pictures are pure gastroporn! I used to buy a fig preserve with mastic in it (gorgeous with hard, salty cheeses!) but I am not sure I know what it tastes like alone.

Georgia

says:

another brilliant recipe with a brilliant representation of photos. Culinary is not your only expertise, as I have said before, you have the perfect eye and touch for photography as well! Beautiful!

(Thanks for your wonderful wishes!)

says:

Ooooh – now I don’t really ‘do’ dessert but creme brulee does it for me!
You can’t beat the blow torch either – a great invention!
Love the pictures too Peter.

says:

Be still my beating heart… I think creme brulee is my favorite dessert. When done right. Yours looks amazing! I need a torch. I have done it with the broiler though too.

says:

I was relieved when I read down far enough to discover that mastic in your world is a spice. My dearly beloved having been a general contractor, to me “mastic” is the gooey substance used to hold tile to a wall or floor. I love creme brulee; it may be that I need a torch, too!

says:

Creme Brulee is my favourite dessert and I too have a blow torch, unfortunately I have never gotten around to buying a gas cannister for it :)

says:

Creme Brulee is my favourite dessert and I too have a blow torch, unfortunately I have never gotten around to buying a gas cannister for it :)

says:

Look at that crust! In a restaurant where I worked years ago, we used to call that perfect cracking of the crust the “titanic effect.”
LL

says:

Creme brulee is one of my husband’s favorite desserts. I’ve never attempted to make it, so he orders it when we go out. That system has worked just fine for us (!), but I do like the idea of making it at home so you can vary the flavors.

says:

I adore crème brûlée!!!
I just don’t eat it that often!
Your version looks FABULOUS!!! Great dessert, Peter!
Can I have one now,….please…..?

says:

That is one gorgeous, perfect crême brulée. I love the way the sugar cracks and I love the creamy, warm interior. Beautiful!

says:

I’ve never tried mastic, I don’t think. How would you describe its flavour? What aroma does it infuse into the baked goods? This creme brule looks fantastic, I’m glad you went with your instincts and certainty, because it sounds like you did a fantastic job! The photos look great too :)

says:

I love Creme Brulee and love to make it using different flavors. I haven’t tried the mastic before, but sounds like another taste adventure.

says:

Just stunning! Fantastic photos. I’ve been meaning to make creme brulee and I don’t know why I haven’t. I’m in the mood for a decadent treat!