Crème Brûlée with Sautéed Exotic Fruits
Fruit is sautéed in brown sugar and orange liqueur (or rum), then molded with crème brûlée for a rich but simple dessert filled with island flavor. The recipe can be simplified by serving just the fruit sauté with ice cream or whipped cream; the sauté can be adjusted for seasonal availability of fresh fruits.
- Crème Brûlée
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 quart
- Vanilla beans - 2 split
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Egg Yolks - 8
- Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup, packed
- Fruit Sauté
- Pineapples - 2, diced
- Mangoes - 2, diced
- Bananas - 2, diced
- Kiwi - 6, diced
- Brown Sugar - 1 cup, packed
- Dry white wine - 2 ounces (1/4 cup)
- Orange Liqueur - 2 ounces (1/4 cup) (alt. rum, or liqueur of choice)
- Mint sprigs - 6
To make the crème brûlée: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put the cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the cream, then add the pods. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and brown sugar. Temper the egg yolks by adding a spoonful of the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks and stirring to warm to yolks, then pour the egg mixture into the hot cream, whisking to mix. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a heatproof baking dish in a bain marie: Set the baking dish in a larger baking pan and pour warm water into the baking pan to cover halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake 1 - 1-1/2 hours, or until the middle of the cream brûlée moves only slightly. Remove from oven and set aside to cool; chill in the refrigerator.
To make the fruit sauté: In a small sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the pineapple and mango in butter for 2 minutes. Add the banana and kiwi and sauté for 1 minute. Caramelize the fruit: Add brown sugar, cooking until the sugar has melted and coats the fruit. Add white wine and drizzle with liqueur. Remove from heat and keep warm.
To serve: If using the broiler to brown the desserts, heat the broiler to highest setting. Place a ring mold in the center of a plate. Spoon caramelized fruit into the mold, pressing down gently to fill half-way. Spoon chilled crème brûlée into a piping bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe into the mold. Repeat with remaining dishes. Sprinkle sugar on top of the crème brûlées and brown under the broiler or using a small kitchen torch. Remove molds and garnish with mint sprigs.