Vanilla Crème Brûlée with Blackberries and Figs


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Season to Taste

By Liam Tomlin

Published 2005

  • About


  • 15 Free-range egg yolks
  • 105g Castor sugar
  • 150ml Milk
  • 900ml Cream
  • 2 Vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • 150ml White chocolate
  • 4 black figs
  • 48 Blackberries
  • 100ml Blackberry coulis
  • Candied lemon peel of 1 lemon
  • Icing sugar for dusting


Prepare the crème brûlée a day before serving to give it time to set in the refrigerator.

Pre-heat the oven to 95°C. Line a 15cm wide, 24cm long and 3cm deep stainless steel tray with cling-film. Place the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk together until pale and doubled in volume. Place the milk, cream and vanilla beans in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Pour the milk and cream onto the egg yolks and castor sugar and whisk together. Remove the vanilla beans and pour into the lined tray. Place the crème brûlée tray into a roasting pan and place in the oven. Pour hot water into the roasting pan to come three-quarters the way up the side of the crème brûlée tray to create a bain marie. Cook the crème brûlée for 50 - 60 minutes until it reaches setting point. Gently shake the tray. The brûlée will still be a little soft in the centre. If it appears too runny, return to the oven for a further 10 minutes before checking again. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and allow the crème brûlée to cool down in the bain marie. When cold, remove the crème brûlée from the bain marie, cover with cling-film and refrigerate.

Chop the white chocolate, place in a bowl and melt over a pot of simmering water. When cold, turn out the crème brûlée onto a clean chopping board. Trim ½cm off the sides of the crème brûlée and using a palette knife spread the melted white chocolate over the surface of the crème brûlée. Return it to the fridge until the chocolate has hardened. Invert the crème brulee so that the chocolate forms the base. Cut 6 squares of the crème brûlée, 7cm × 7cm. Generously dust the top with icing sugar and glaze each square with a blowtorch until the sugar caramelises. Take care not to burn the sugar as it will become bitter. Dust and glaze the crème brûlée a second time for an extra crisp glaze. Cut the figs into quarters and place in a bowl. Add the blackberries and 50ml blackberry coulis and gently mix through the fruit to lightly coat with the coulis. Place the crème brûlée in the centre of a chilled plate and spoon the fruit around. Drizzle a little more coulis over and around the fruit and garnish with the strips of candied lemon peel.