Saffron Crème Brûlée With Blood Orange Sorbet and Burnt Butter Biscuits

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2 Hrs Preparation Time
6 Hrs Freezing
2 Hrs Cooking Time
1 Hr Refrigeration Time

This is an elegant and elaborate dessert. The three components can of course be served with other delights ...

Ingredients

For the crème brûlée:

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) full-cream (whole) milk
  • 1 large pinch saffron threads
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 175 g (6 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) thin (pouring/whipping) cream
  • 100 g ( oz) demerara sugar

For the sorbet:

  • Juice of 6–8 blood oranges (about 300 ml/10½ fl oz)
  • 100 g (3/½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

For the biscuits:

  • 225 g (8 oz) lightly salted butter
  • 200 g (7 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 280 g (10 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

Special equipment:

  • Ice cream maker (optional)

Method

MAKE THE CRÈME BRÛLÉE. Preheat the oven to 120°C (235°F/Gas ½). Bring the milk and saffron to the boil in a saucepan, then take off the heat and let it infuse and cool.

BEAT THE EGG YOLKS AND CASTER SUGAR IN A MIXING BOWL UNTIL THEY ARE PALE AND MOUSSE-LIKE. Add the saffron-infused milk and the cream, whisking until the mixture is smooth and uniform. Strain the mixture and pour it into 4–6 ramekins.

PLACE THE RAMEKINS ON A BAKING TRAY AND BAKE FOR 1 HOUR AND 30 MINUTES, UNTIL THE CREMES ARE SET BUT STILL A LITTLE WOBBLY.

MAKE THE SORBET. Combine the orange juice with the sugar in a saucepan over a low heat to dissolve the sugar, then let the syrup cool completely and place in the fridge. Pour the syrup into an ice cream maker and start the churning cycle, then set aside in the freezer. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the syrup into an airtight plastic container and let it set for at least 6 hours in the freezer, stirring it with a fork at least once an hour to break up the ice crystals.

MAKE THE BISCUITS. Heat the butter in a small saucepan on a very low heat until it turns a nut brown colour. Pour it into a bowl and place in the fridge to harden. Once it is firm, place the butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater for about 3 minutes, until pale and mousse-like. Add the flour and mix again.

SHAPE INTO A BALL OF DOUGH AND WRAP IN PLASTIC WRAP. Set aside in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 180°C (350°F/GAS 4). Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into small balls. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone mat, spacing them out well. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the biscuits are nice and brown. Take them out of the oven and sprinkle with a little sugar. Let them cool.

SPRINKLE THE CRÈMES BRÛLÉES WITH DEMERARA SUGAR, THEN PUT THEM UNDER THE OVEN GRILL FOR A FEW MOMENTS OR CARAMELISE THE SUGAR WITH A BLOWTORCH. Serve them with the sorbet and biscuits.