Lemon Thyme & Blackcurrant Crème Brulee

Prep time: 10 mins plus cooling 
Cooking time: 45 mins 
Total time: 55 mins

Serves: 6 people


600ml double cream

4-5 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme, leaves only (or 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme and lemon zest from 1/2 lemon)

75g blackcurrants 100g golden caster sugar, plus an extra 2-3 tbsps for the topping

6 whole egg yolks

6 small oven-proof ramekins

 * Blackcurrants used in this recipe were kindly provided by British Frozen Fruits


Pour the cream into a saucepan, add the lemon thyme (or the thyme and lemon zest) and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and set aside, leaving the cream to infuse.

Add the blackcurrants, 50g sugar and 1 tablespoon of water to a small saucepan and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the juices reduce to a thick syrup, stirring occasionally so that the fruit does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Cool a little, then divide the blackcurrant mixture between the ramekins.

Preheat the oven to 170C, fan 160C, gas 3.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with 50g of the caster sugar until well blended but not foamy.

Re-heat the cream until hot again and slowly pour into the sugar and egg mixture, beating again until combined.

Strain the custard into the ramekins, then place them in a roasting tin, each covered loosely with foil, making a hole in the centre for steam to escape. Make a bain-marie by pouring hot water from the kettle into the tin to halfway up the side of the ramekins.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the custards are just barely set in the centre (check after 25 minutes).

Remove the ramekins from the oven and dispose of the water. Take off the foil and cool, then chill in the fridge, covered with clingfilm.

About 2-3 hours before serving, cover each custard with a thin layer of caster sugar and sprinkle with a little water, then caramelise, either with a cook’s blow torch or for 4-5 minutes under a very hot grill until all the sugar has melted and turned a lovely golden. Chill again until ready to serve.