Crema (Creme Caramel)
By Petronella Fakhry – WLCU Secretary
The scrumptious Crema is a very popular Lebanese desert, traditionally prepared for special occasions and family gatherings. This desert is an all-time favourite in many Lebanese households, and those who try it will be asking for more!
- 8 eggs
- 1 litre full cream fresh milk
- ¾ cup of white sugar
- ½ cup sugar (additional) for the caramel sauce to line the baking dish
- 1 teaspoon of Vanilla essence
- 1 lemon rind finely grated
- Boiled hot water
- 1 x 25cm (approx.) round baking dish
- 1 x Oven tray with deep sides that the baking dish will fit into
- An electric mixer
- 1 x Mixing bowl
- 1 x Milk saucepan
- 1 x Small saucepan to cook the sugar
- 1 x Skewer
- Preheat oven to 160C.
- In a saucepan bring the milk to the boil – remove from heat as soon as it starts to rise and set aside.
- Heat ½ a cup of sugar with 3 tablespoons of water (you can use more sugar if you like it more saucy) in a saucepan until brown.
- To help the sugar dissolve, occasionally swirl the saucepan in small circles – do not stir the sugar mixture. Once it starts to bubble, keep a close eye on it and wait for the liquid to turn a deep brown colour. Immediately remove from heat and pour into the baking dish. Be careful not to touch the liquid (as it could burn you), and gently swirl the baking dish to coat the bottom evenly.
- Place the baking dish in the oven tray.
- In a mixing bowl; beat the eggs, ¾ cup of sugar, and vanilla essence until creamy and frothy. Mix in the lemon rind.
- Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish over the burnt sugar. Then, gradually pour the milk onto the egg mixture.
- Pour the hot water into the oven tray until half filled. This will provide a hot water bath for your baking dish.
- Place the oven tray containing the baking dish into the oven and bake for 45 minutes until brown on top. Use a skewer to check for dryness.
- Remove the tray from the oven and allow the baking dish to sit undisturbed in the tray of water for 15 minutes. Then, remove the baking dish from the tray of water and allow it to cool down.
- Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Be sure to cover with clingwrap before placing it in the refrigerator.
- Crema can keep refrigerated for 2 – 3 days ahead of serving.
- To serve, run a knife around the baking dish edge vertically. Then, flip upside down into a serving bowl with edges (to catch the runny sauce).
- The brown sugar caramel sauce should run down the sides. Slice up to serve with a spoonful of the sauce.