Grapefruit Brûlée with Vanilla Bean Crème
This is one of the recipes I cooked from The Art of Breakfast: How to Bring B & B Entertaining Home, by Dana Moos. There are links at the bottom of the page to the other recipes I tried. If you would like to see my full review of her book and an interview with the author please click here.
This dish was the first to catch my eye when I read the book. I have always been intrigued by the slightly-retro grilled grapefruit, no longer served very often in the UK, so this coupled with the luscious elements of a crème brûlée was very alluring.
And I wasn’t wrong. Although I had been concerned that the tart, acidic juice of the grapefruit would clash with the creamy sweetness of the topping, the combination was fantastic. The honey was a particularly welcome flavour, matching the caramelised sugar and the vanilla in the crème beautifully.
The original recipe called for sour cream, but this is not really available in the UK, so I substituted crème fraîche. My blowtorch was also sadly absent (packed away in a box in Sweden), so the only thing I had available was an electric heat gun. Although this was hot enough to caramelise the sugar, it took significantly longer than a blowtorch and also forcibly blew air along with the heat, causing the crème to slide off on my first attempt!
To combat this, I decided on the presentation you can see above – sugar brulée on top of the grapefruit and the crème served in a swipe on the plate. This resulted in warm, tangy grapefruit juices under a lovely, crunchy sugar topping with a honey-vanilla sauce available to scoop up at will. A delectable addition to a modern, artistic, flavourful brunch.
- 2 ruby red grapefruits
- 100g/8 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 120ml crème fraîche
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 vanilla pod, seeds only
- 1 teaspoon double cream
- 1.5 teaspoons honey
- 20g unrefined granulated sugar
- Cut each grapefruit in half and cut around each section for easy removal when eating.
- Lightly dry the top of each grapefruit with some kitchen towel to stop the juices dissolving the sugar.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over each half and caramelise with a blowtorch immediately.
- Mix all ingredients well.
- Make sure you use a flameproof surface to caramelise your grapefruits (I used a baking tray, then transferred them to the plate).
- The grapefruits should be served immediately. The crème can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for four weeks.
Check out the other recipes I cooked from The Art of Breakfast:
Blueberry Oatmeal Streusel French Toast With Warm Maple-Rum Sauce
Potato-Parmesan Wedges with Horseradish Sour Cream
Does fruit always feature in your perfect brunch? Or do you favour savoury delights in the morning? Do let me know what tickles your fancy!