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Summer Fruit Brulee

Here is how to make a brûlée and, more importantly, how to get as much of that lovely thin caramelised crust as possible. This has always been a bit tricky because domestic grills vary so much and, if you'll forgive the pun, some of them are not that hot. However, if you do want to use a grill, then it needs to be turned to its highest setting and allowed 15 minutes to become as hot as possible. The best solution seems to be the chefs' trick of using a blow torch. You can pick up one of these from any DIY store and it does the job really quickly and easily. Another trick I learnt from a chef is to use a small plastic spray bottle filled with water and very lightly sprinkle the sugar just before you caramelise it.

 Summer Fruit Brulee

  Serves 6

 1½ lb (700 g) soft fruits (including one or more of the following: raspberries, redcurrants, loganberries, blackberries and blackcurrants)
 4 oz (110 g) caster sugar
 10 fl oz (284 ml) carton whipping cream
 10 fl oz (284 ml) carton Greek yoghurt
 6 oz (175 g) demerara sugar
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You will also need an oblong shallow heatproof dish, with a base measurement of 10 x 6½ x 2 inches (25.5 x 16 x 5 cm).

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three. It has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine (Aug 2001)


First, pick over the fruit and place it in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole. Sprinkle it with the caster sugar and then put the pan over a gentle heat for 3-5 minutes, only until the sugar melts and the juices begin to run. Do not over-stir or the fruit will break down to a mush. Now place the fruit in the serving dish and allow it to get quite cold. After that whip the cream till thick and then fold it in to the yoghurt and spread this mixture all over the fruit, taking it right up to the edges of the dish to seal the fruit underneath.

Cover with clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. About 2 hours before you want to serve it, spread the surface thickly and evenly with the demerara sugar then spray the surface very lightly with water (this helps melt the sugar, speeding up the caramelising process). Use a blow torch to caramelise the sugar on top. To do this hold the ignited blow torch over the sugar aiming the tip of the flame at the sugar – the sugar will immediately begin to bubble and melt. You will soon see the sugar turn to a golden-brown caramel.

As soon as the sugar has reached a dark golden-brown colour, move the blow torch and continue to caramelise the sugar all over the top. It will take about 10 minutes to caramelise all the sugar. Now leave to cool and pop it back in the refrigerator where the sugar will form a crusty surface – wonderful!


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