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Delightful Crema Catalana Recipe

Any time of the day should be dessert time, but since it is not, we must make the most of the moments when we do eat dessert. 

We can do that by eating a delicious, timeless dessert that can be eaten at any time of the year.

If you are looking for a crema Catalana recipe that does not require any cooking skills, then you are in the right place. 

crema catalana dessert in a clay pot, on a wooden table and next to it there's a spoon. Delightful Crema Catalana Recipe

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In this article, we will dedicate ourselves exclusively to teaching you how to make the Catalan dessert.

It is one of the most popular Spanish desserts for several reasons: it is cheap, it is easy to make, and the result is a delicious dessert. 

Prepare your cooking apron, gather the ingredients and continue scrolling to be able to make this recipe yourself.

Background of the Dish

closeup with the flan catalan on a white plate.

Like other popular Spanish desserts, this one saw its origin in the medieval era.

It is considered one of the oldest desserts in Spain, and since the 16th century, it began to be named in different literary works.

This allows historians to establish a record of the existence of this dessert, even though in some cases it was called flan Catalan, or Spanish creme brulee. 

It was popular since that time because it was cheap to make, although cinnamon was not used in the lower classes due to its high cost.

The custards were evolving and reaching all parts of Spain and the world.

Although you can find all kinds of versions, from chocolate custards to others with exotic flavors, nothing beats the classic dessert.

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Things You’ll Need for Crema Catalana Recipe

To make these treats from Spain, you need milk, egg, and sugar as the main ingredients along with some flavoring (in this case cinnamon and lemon). 

It’s ideal if you have a kitchen blow torch, but it can be replaced with an oven.

If you don’t have a kitchen blowtorch and you aren’t sure about using the oven, then we encourage you to try and make other classic desserts, such as the Spanish leche frita and Spanish arroz con leche.

ingredients such as eggs, milk, sugar and utensils for creme catalan recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon’s peel
  • 3/4 cup (70 gr) sugar (4 extra tablespoons to caramelize on top)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

How to Make Crema Catalana Recipe – Step by Step Guide

man mixing ingredients for a spanish dessert in a pot.
  1. To start making this crema Catalana recipe, you have to put the milk, cinnamon stick, and lemon peel in a pot to boil. Once boiled, let it infuse until it reaches room temperature or at least cools down a little bit. This is key so that the eggs don’t burn later in the recipe.
  1. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture softens, you should get a color much lighter than the one of the yolk. It should also have a creamy consistency, so it can take a couple of minutes. You can use a hand mixer and save the exercise for another moment.
  1. Then, remove the cinnamon and the lemon peel from the pot. Pour the now-flavored milk little by little into the preparation of the yolk and sugar, mixing continuously.
  1. Next on this Spanish dessert recipe, put it all back in the pot, and heat over medium heat while stirring non-stop until thickened (more or less 5 minutes). 
  1. After that, pour the cream directly into the ramekin (better if it is ceramic, but it can be a metal one). Refrigerate in the fridge for at least 2 hours. We don’t recommend plastic molds because you will have to use some heat next.
  1. For the final step, sprinkle on each ramekin with crema white sugar on top. Caramelize with the help of a kitchen blowtorch. If you don’t have it, put it in the oven for 5-10 min until it’s golden, but in this case, keep a close eye so you don’t end up with burnt cream.

Substitution of Ingredients

flan catalan decorated with dulce de leche sauce, forest fruits and a mint leaf

The ingredients of the crema Catalana recipe are quite fixed but basic at the same time: milk, eggs, and sugar. Cornstarch is also key but it can be replaced by flour.

On top of that, you can play around with the flavorings, and go beyond the cinnamon and lemon. 

There have already been other Hispanic desserts that have made these changes in flavorings, adapting to new trends, such as the innovative Spanish pumpkin flan.

You can use a vanilla bean, which would be quite a conservative but delicious change.

You can innovate more and use other herbs by adding tea bags to the milk, or a little pumpkin spice.

If you want a creamy dessert like the crema Catalana recipe, try the Spanish cream puffs, the Spanish natillas de leche, or the Spanish custard dessert. You won’t regret it.

Tips on Serving Crema Catalana Recipe

crema catalana decorated with cream, strawberry and mint.

Catalan cream is one of the yummiest desserts because of its dreamy taste, but also because it is very practical to serve and eat. 

It is easy to serve because the crema Catalana recipes indicate that it must be prepared directly to be placed in the ramekin.

Therefore, to serve you just have to take the ramekins out of the fridge, put a little sugar on top, and with the help of a kitchen blowtorch burn it to make caramel.

If you’re wondering if you should serve crema Catalana hot or cold, the answer is hot!

Crema Catalana should always be served as soon as it is taken out of the fridge and the caramel burnt right away so that there is a contrast of temperatures between the cold of the cream and the warmth of the caramel.

Want to dive into other delicious Spanish desserts? Try the Christmasy mantecados cookies, the polvoron, or the crunchy turron de Alicante.

For something softer and lighter, go with the Turron de Jijona, bunuelos de viento, and Spanish pumpkin fritters.

How to Store Crema Catalana

How to Store Crema Catalana Recipe. A photo with different products in a fridge

Unlike other Spanish dessert recipes, storing Catalan cream is more complex. It does not mean that it is impossible, but you must do it correctly so as not to waste all your work.

If you follow this creme Catalan recipe, then you will be able to store the ramekins with your prepared dessert for up to 4 days. 

In any case, you should not do the process of burning the sugar on top if you plan to save it, you should do that just before serving.

The Crema Catalana cannot be frozen as that just doesn’t go well with creams. 

They tend to crystallize, to separate the fat content from the rest (because it freezes at different temperatures), and everything ends up getting spoiled.

Recipe Card: Crema Catalana Recipe

Yield: 4

Easy Crema Catalana Recipe

crema catalana dessert in a clay pot, on a wooden table and next to it there's a spoon.

Any time of the day should be dessert time, but since it is not, we must make the most of the moments when we do eat dessert. 

We can do that by eating a delicious, timeless dessert that can be eaten at any time of the year.

In this recipe, we will dedicate ourselves exclusively to teaching you how to make the Catalan cream recipe.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon's peel
  • 3/4 cup (70 gr) sugar (4 extra tablespoons to caramelize on top)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Put the milk, cinnamon stick, and lemon peel in a pot to boil. Once boiled, let it infuse until it reaches room temperature.
  2. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture softens (much lighter than the color of the yolk) and has a creamy consistency. Then add the cornstarch.
  3. Remove the cinnamon and lemon peel from the pan. Pour the now-flavored milk little by little into the preparation of the yolk and sugar, mixing continuously.
  4. Put it all back in the pot, and heat over medium heat while stirring non-stop until thickened (more or less 5 minutes).
  5. Pour the cream directly into the ramekin (better if it is ceramic but it can be metal). Refrigerate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  6. Sprinkle some on each cream ramekin and some white sugar. Caramelize with the help of a kitchen blowtorch. If you don't have it, put it in the oven for 5-10 min until it's golden.

Notes

The recipe for crema Catalana calls for cinnamon and lemon peel as the flavorings, but you can use a vanilla stick if it's in your budget (or vanilla essence does the trick, too).

f you were looking for something with a higher vanilla flavor then the Spanish flan recipe is for you.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 241Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 220mgSodium 66mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 1gSugar 33.1gProtein 7g

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