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Pineapple Sage Stove Top Crème Brûlée

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 390 ml cream
  • 100 ml milk
  • 2-3 sprigs pineapple sage
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 50 grams brown sugar + extra for the caramelized tops
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. The first thing to do is assemble all of the ingredients together. If you have not separated the eggs yet, do this now.
  2. Now pour the cream and the milk into a medium sized pot. Place on the stove and add the pineapple sage sprigs and vanilla essence. Turn on the heat and bring the pot to a simmer. As soon as the milk and cream reach simmering point, turn off the heat. Do not let the mixture boil, as this will make the cream and milk taste funny.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the sugar, egg yolks and cornstarch. With a spoon gently mix the sugar and egg yolks together until the sugar has dissolved. Do not beat the sugar and the egg yolks. The reason why is because unlike light and fluffy things like cakes, you should not incorporate air bubbles into the sugar and eggs. This is because you want to achieve a smooth, dense and uniform texture in the final crème brûlée cream.
  4. Once the sugar is dissolved into the egg yolks, the pot of milk and cream should have cooled slightly. You are now ready to combine the cream and milk with the egg yolks and sugar. First, place a large sieve over your bowl of sugar and egg yolks. Then take the pot containing the cream and milk, and pour about a cup full through the sieve and into the bowl. Remove the sieve briefly and mix this in. Repeat this until all of the milk and cream from the pot is in the bowl. Discard the pineapple sage.
  5. Now pour the contents of the bowl back into the pot. Replace the pot onto the stove and set the heat to low. Stirring the pot, continue to heat the mixture for 8-10 minutes. Don’t stop stirring! You will begin to see the mix thickening up after a while. Once it looks nice and thick and creamy, turn off the heat. If you overcook the mixture, the egg will start to solidify and it will become grainy. So keep an eagle eye on the texture and if you see this beginning to happen, immediately remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Once your crème brûlée cream is nice and thick after 8 minutes or so, it is time to get it into ramekins. Simply spoon the mixture into four ramekins, smoothing out the tops if need be. Then place the ramekins in the refrigerator for 1-24 hours.
  7. When you are preparing to serve the crème brûlée, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator. Now it is time to create that caramelized sugar top. Firstly, spoon a thin layer of sugar over each ramekin. To melt the sugar you can either use a blow torch, or place them under the broiler. A blow torch is the easier method as you have more control. But if you torch them, please be careful and do so on a non-flammable surface that is free of paper or anything else that could catch alight. If you choose to use the broiler, try to get the ramekins as close to the flame as possible. Keep a close eye on them and shift any that are browning unevenly. Once your ramekins all have developed a nicely caramelized top, it is time to serve.
  8. Serve the crème brûlée immediately. Do not re-refrigerate before serving as this will soften the caramelized tops.