the appetizer:

Learn Spanish cooking from Simone and Inés Ortega in their classic cookbook, 1080 Recipes, featuring Octopus with Paprika Pulpo con Pimenton; Partridges with Grapes Perdices con Uvas; Sepulvedana Roast Lamb Cordero Asado a la Sepulvedana; and Catalan Cream Crema Catalana.

Cookbook Profile

Catalan Cream

Making Catalan Cream

Crema Catalana

Serves 6


Homemade custards and creams are delicious, but there is a trick to making them. From custard to confectioner's cream, many of them are used in the preparation of numerous desserts and also constitute desserts in themselves. They have a common denominator—their extreme fragility. Therefore you should use top-quality ingredients for them and eat them within hours of their being made.

Confectioner's Cream

Note: Crema Catalana is the best-known Spanish dessert and is said by some to be the predecessor of France's crème brûlée.

Catalan Cream


Pour the milk into a pan, add 4 tablespoons of the sugar and the lemon zest, and bring just to a boil. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of the remaining sugar and the potato starch. Gradually stir in the hot milk, then pour the custard into the pan. Lower the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, until thickened. Strain into a serving dish or individual dishes and let cool, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining sugar on top and use a kitchen blow torch to caramelize it.


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This page created November 2007