Crema catalana

Time 45 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Crema catalana

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat with the cinnamon and lemon zest until it starts to simmer. Remove from the heat and set the pan aside to infuse for 30 minutes.


Mix the cornstarch and half-cup sugar in a separate bowl. Set aside.


In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks.


Return the saucepan to the stove top and, over medium heat, bring the milk mixture back to a simmer. When the milk is hot, add it little by little to the egg yolks, then return the mixture to the heat, and stir in the sugar blend.


Place on medium heat until the mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes.


Remove the zest and cinnamon, and pour the mixture into cazuelas or small gratin dishes, about two-thirds cup per portion. Chill thoroughly until set.


When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar in an even layer over the crema and torch until burnt, or place the cazuelas on a sheet tray under the broiler until the sugar starts to turn dark brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool before serving.

From Katy Ross and Martha Kroncke of Las Nenas, who make their version in small cazuelas, earthenware baking dishes. You can also use gratin dishes or ramekins that hold at least two-thirds of a cup.

Betty Hallock was the deputy Food editor, covering all things food and drink for the Saturday section and Daily Dish blog. She started at The Times in 2001 in the Business section and previously worked on the National desk at the Wall Street Journal in New York. She’s a graduate of UCLA and New York University.
Get our new Cooking newsletter, coming soon.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.