Old-fashioned rice pudding is elevated to three-star status in this creamy brûlée. Use Arborio or another short-grain Italian rice for the best texture. If fresh cherries are in season, let them stand in for the dried ones.–Lou Seibert Pappas
Cherry Risotto Crème Brûlée Recipe
Hands-On Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes, not including cooling | 6 servings
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, or 1 1/2 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted
- 4 tablespoons kirsch
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup Arborio rice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/3 cup sugar, plus 6 tablespoons for topping
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Put the cherries in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the kirsch. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- 2. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, rice, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the rice is al dente and about 1/2 cup milk remains. Remove from the heat and stir in the 1/3 cup sugar. Let cool to room temperature.
- 3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale in color. Whisk in the cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons kirsch or, alternatively, the vanilla extract. Stir in the rice mixture.
- 4. Place six standard-size flan dishes in a baking pan. Reserve a dozen cherries for garnish and divide the remainder among the dishes. Divide the custard mixture and any juices from the cherries among the dishes (discarding the cinnamon stick). Pour warm water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the center of each custard still jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and lift the dishes from the hot water. Let cool briefly, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- 5. When ready to serve, place the dishes on a baking sheet and evenly sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over each custard. Using a hand-held blowtorch, caramelize the sugar (see Note). Garnish the top of each dish with a cherry or two.
- Use caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a blowtorch. Searing one dish at a time, hold the blowtorch about 4 inches from the top of the dish, moving the torch constantly so that the sugar (or cheese) browns evenly. Be especially careful if the custard contains alcohol, as it can cause the sugar to sputter. When using a broiler to caramelize, place the dishes about 4 inches from the heat source. Watch carefully and turn the baking sheet holding the dishes if necessary to brown the custards evenly. Wear oven mitts when broiling and handling the baking sheet in the oven.
Cherry Risotto Crème Brûlée Recipe © 2009 Lou Seibert Pappas. Photo © 2009 Alison Miksch. All rights reserved.