I've been working hard behind the scenes on a super sweet Valentine's Day baking project and I am beyond excited to finally share it with you!
A few months back I was asked if I would develop and photograph a few recipes for the California Cling Peach Board using canned California cling peaches. Of course I was up for the task! My first post was this Kale and Peach Salad that turned out to be a big hit. For my second post I knew I wanted to bust out something special to line your dessert table with. Then it came to me. Crème brûlée! With caramelized peaches on the bottom!
This Crème Brûlée with Caramelized Peaches is pretty much all of my favourite dessert flavours + textures packed into a single serve treat.
This post is sponsored by the California Cling Peach Board.
The first thing you should know about crème brûlée is that it's not hard to make. It's true. As intimidating as all those accented letters may seem and although it has a fancy restaurant reputation, it really is pretty simple when you break it down. It's also a lot of fun! The only one catch is that you'll want to get yourself a small kitchen blowtorch for making that crisp crackly layer of caramel brittle that makes creme brulee so memorable. Don't worry they are reasonably priced. It's very difficult to brown the sugar underneath the oven broiler - though some are able to pull it off, I've never been able to do it without messing up the custard.
One of the greatest things about this impressive dessert is that you can make the custards - minus the burnt-sugar topping - a couple of days in advance. Of course, you can eat them on the day you make them too; just be sure to chill the custards for at least 3 hours before topping them with sugar.
Oh, it is difficult to wait.
This is the first time I've tried a peach style crème brûlée. I have to admit a well-made vanilla bean crème brûlée is pretty hard to beat, but the subtlety of the caramelized peaches on the bottom was just enough without being overwhelming.
For the caramelized peaches I used canned California cling peaches. I've always thought canned peaches were a cheery reminder of warm summer days in the mid-winter months. They're hard to pass up, especially this time of year when fresh and local just isn't an option. So I like to always have a few cans in the cupboard, on hand for whenever. Surprisingly, the canning process of the peaches has been proven to increase key nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C and folate. Plus there are no added preservatives or colours, and they’re delicious!
Do I have to tell you how good that topping was?
I'm thinking it's pretty self-explanatory.
Have a happy weekend friends!
Crème Brûlée with Caramelized Peaches
(Serves 4) Print This Recipe
For the caramelized peaches:
1 cup canned California cling peaches in fruit juice, drained and chopped
½ tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
For the crème brûlée:
2 cups (480 ml) heavy 'whipping' cream (35% butterfat content)
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed (or 2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (75 g) granulated white sugar
4 tablespoons (50 g) superfine white sugar
For the peaches:
In a heavy medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the peaches, sprinkle with the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peaches are tender and the juices are slightly reduced, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
For the crème brûlée:
Preheat your oven to 300˚ F and position a rack in the centre of the oven. Place 4, 8-ounce (240 ml) ramekins in a roasting pan where the sides of the pan are higher than the ramekins. Spoon the caramelized peaches into the ramekins (about 1/4 cup into each).
Heat the cream on medium-high heat with the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean along with the pod for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully so that it doesn't boil over. The cream will begin to bubble around the edges when it is ready. Remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean pod.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar until pale and thick (about 1-2 minutes). Slowly pour the scalding cream a little bit at a time into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs don't scramble. Strain with a fine mesh sieve set over a large measuring cup or bowl (I like to strain it into a glass Pyrex measuring cup with a spout). Evenly pour the custard into the prepared ramekins.
Pour boiling water carefully around the ramekins, so that the water comes halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake the custards for about 35-45 minutes, until they are set around the edges, but still have a little jiggle to them when gently moved. Carefully remove the custards from the water bath and set them on a wire rack to cool for about 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or until cold and firmed up. At this point they can be stored in the fridge for up to two days until you are ready to serve them.
To serve, sprinkle each custard with a thin, even layer of superfine sugar (about 1 tablespoon). Using a hand held kitchen blowtorch, caramelize the sugar by moving the torch back and forth over the custard, about 1-2 inches away from it at an angle, until the sugar is golden brown and hardened. Serve immediately.
Today's post is sponsored by the California Cling Peach Board. Product opinions are always my own. If I didn't love it, you wouldn't be hearing about it. Thank you for supporting the occasional sponsored post that helps fund all the deliciousness I share here.
As someone who likes to go to bed earlier than most (let's say the elderly), I'd like to give myself a pat on the back for making it to midnight (plus a few hours past) without falling asleep standing up. How about a round of applause, or maybe a small golf clap?
I would like to thank caffeine and sugar for this "achievement".
So to start the year off on the right foot I've got a tasty kale and peach salad for you today.
This post is sponsored by the California Cling Peach Board.
I've already shared a number of salads on the site because I love them so much.
To recap, here's my remake of Whole Foods Detox Salad, Lemony Quinoa Salad, Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas, Millet with Butternut Squash & Kale, Pear and Squash Salad with Clean Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Quinoa Veggie Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
That's a lot of salads. But, when it comes to lunch, light dinners, and side dishes you really can't beat them.
Now considering how gaga I am for peaches, looking back I cannot believe I don't have any salads that feature them! So I'm about to remedy that with these canned California cling peaches. The peaches are smooth, juicy and bursting with delicious ripe peach flavour.
My goal was to make a refreshing salad that is satisfying and fresh, full of nutrition, and perfect for the winter months when your body is craving some sunshine ripened fruit. Hello Vitamin A and C! This is an every-day-of-the-week type of salad.
Fresh fruit often makes the most sense in terms of taste, texture and nutritional value. But if it's off-season and you're craving peaches, there's nothing to lose by eating them canned. What many people don't know is that canned fruit often retains more nutrients than fresh because it's picked fully ripe and then packaged right away. Fresh fruit, on the other hand, has to travel long-distances in the winter month from farm to your kitchen table.
Most canned peaches in Canada are actually California cling peaches. They are picked and packed in their own juices, usually within 24 hours to ensure they retain their appearance, texture, flavour and nutritional content.
This recipe is simple. It starts by giving the kale a nice little massage with a drizzle of olive oil and some lemon juice. Simply squeeze the kale with your fingertips and release it, and repeat this for about 2 minutes. Massaging the leaves before assembling the salad makes them soft and tender, and reduces the bitter taste that kale is so popular for.
After the kale is ready to go, it gets tossed with a tasty dressing made from honey, olive oil, lemon juice, and freshly ground black pepper.
Then it all gets finished off with those juicy canned peaches and some toasted pepitas to add some crunch and round out all the flavours. Pepitas also add good fibre and healthy fats. Perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. You could also add some leftover chicken and goat cheese. I highly recommend the goats cheese!
Kale and Peach Salad
(Serves 5-6) Print This Recipe
1 bunch kale, stalks removed and discarded, leaves torn small
1 large lemon, juiced (about 4 tablespoons)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
pinch of sea salt
2 teaspoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (340g) California canned cling peaches in fruit juice, drained and chopped
1 small English cucumber (about 285g), sliced thinly
1/4 cup (50g) toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeeds)
In a large bowl, add the kale, half the lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons), a drizzle of oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Massage the kale, squeezing with your hands, until it starts to wilt and soften a bit, about 2 minutes. Set aside, and make the dressing.
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Pouring in a slow stream, add the ¼ cup of olive oil while whisking until dressing forms.
Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the peaches and cucumber. Toss gently and top with toasted pepitas. Serve and enjoy!
Serving size: 1/5 of recipe Calories: 201 Fat: 13.8g Saturated fat: 2.3g Carbohydrates: 15.7g Sugar: 10.9g Sodium: 121g Fibre: 2.2g Protein: 5g
Today’s post is sponsored by the California Cling Peach Board. Product opinions are always my own. If I didn’t love it, you wouldn’t be hearing about it. Thank you for supporting the occasional sponsored post that helps fund all the deliciousness I share here.