Toasted Oatmeal and
Bushmills Crème Brûlée with Rhubarb Compote

Serves 6


This version of crème brûlée also takes on an Irish touch with the addition of toasted oatmeal and the ubiquitous Irish spirit. Patrick McLarnon, chef at one of Northern Ireland's most delightful country houses, Ardtara (Upperlands, County Londonderry), keeps it a fixture on the menu although he changes the fruit compote seasonally and experiments with the method of cooking. Here he uses a small ramekin which is a perfect size given the richness of the crème.


2 tablespoons steel-cut oats,
   preferably McCann's brand
2 tablespoons Bushmills Irish whiskey
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup superfine sugar
2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

Rhubarb Compote
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter six 6-ounce ramekins.

Place the oats into a shallow ovenproof dish and toast in the oven until they start to brown and smell nutty; about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pour on the whiskey, which will evaporate from the heat of the pan. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cream and oats and stir to blend. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins. Set the ramekins in a large baking pan and add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custard is set, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the baking pan for 15 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the baking pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until serving time.

To make the compote:
In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes, reduce heat, add the rhubarb, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

To serve:
Preheat the broiler. Dust each custard with 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar and place under the broiler until caramelized. Serve with a spoonful of rhubarb compote on the side.

If rhubarb is not available, use the method above to stew your favorite seasonal fruit, or use sliced fresh fruit.


The Irish Heritage Cookbook
By Margaret M. Johnson
Chronicle Books
Publication date: March 1999
Paperback, $18.95
288 pages
ISBN: 0-8118-1992-2
Recipe Reprinted by permission.


The Irish Heritage Cookbook



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