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This Crema Catalana recipe is a great Spanish dessert to make ahead of time, since it is very easy but does require between 2 and 3 hours of refrigeration before serving.

Prep Time    : 3 hours 10  mins
Cook Time   : 10 mins
Total Time    : 3 hours 20 mins

Servings      : 4


·         4 large egg yolks
·         1 cup sugar
·         1 cinnamon stick
·         Zest of 1 lemon
·         2 cups whole milk
·         1 tablespoon cornstarch


1.   In a large saucepan, beat together the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until the ingredients are thoroughly blended and the mixture turns frothy.
2.   Add the cinnamon stick and lemon zest and stir.
3.   Add the milk and cornstarch and slowly heat the mixture, stirring constantly, just until it begins to thicken.
4.   Remove the pot from the heat immediately. See the important Note, below.
5.  To cool, remove the cinnamon stick and ladle the milk mixture into 4 to 6 ramekins (depending on size). Allow them to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours.
6.   Before serving, heat the broiler. Take the ramekins with the crema Catalana out of the refrigerator and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over each ramekin.
7.  When the broiler is hot, place the ramekins under the broiler on the top shelf and allow the sugar to caramelize and bubble, turning golden brown. This may take 5 to 10 minutes or so, depending on your broiler. Keep a close eye on your crema Catalana so that it doesn't burn. Remove and serve immediately.
8.   If you'd like, you can serve the crema Catalana chilled, but some think it has more flavor when served warm from the broiler.


·       You can make it the day before serving, and leave it in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat. For the caramelized sugar crust, simply heat the broiler, caramelize the sugar and serve.
·    As soon as the mixture thickens and you feel resistance while stirring, remove the pot from the heat or the mixture may curdle or separate. If this happens, the texture of the finished crema Catalana will be grainy instead of smooth and creamy as it should be.

Recipe from thespruceeats.com

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