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Crema Catalana is a classic dessert from Spain that is reminiscent of custard. Typically served for special occasions, this delightful treat is a great way to end any meal. With a creamy texture and sweet flavor, it’s hard to resist! You will find an easy-to-follow recipe for making your own Crema Catalana at home. All you need is a few simple ingredients to get started.
Originating in Catalonia in the 18th century, Crema Catalana is typically served cold on special occasions like birthdays or holidays. It can also be used as an accompaniment to other desserts, such as fruit tarts or ice cream. Whether topped with fresh berries or eaten on its own, Crema Catalana is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth!
The ingredients for making Crema Catalana that will become your family’s favorite are listed below. Please scroll down to view our printable recipe card, which includes detailed steps and measurements.
- Orange peels
- Cinnamon stick
- Egg yolks
- Confectioners sugar
- Sugar: To sprinkle on top
How to cook Crema Catalana from scratch?
- Boil the milk: In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk, orange peels, and cinnamon stick to a boil. While the milk is heating, mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, then set it aside.
- Mix the eggs: Whisk together the egg yolks and confectioners sugar in a separate bowl until fluffy and pale. Add the cornstarch mixture to the egg and whisk until incorporated. Once the milk is boiling, add 1 tbsp milk to the egg and whisk. Repeat the process until you have incorporated around 1/4 of the milk into the eggs.
- Stir constantly: Pour the egg mixture into the pot and, with the help of a spatula, mix until combined. Continue constantly stirring until the crema has thickened, around 6 minutes.
- Refrigerate: Pour into the ramekins, cool down, and refrigerate for 4 hours. Lastly, sprinkle it with sugar and caramelize it with a torch.
How to serve:
Here are some of the best accompaniments to bring out the amazing flavors of this classic Spanish dessert.
- White wine: A light and sweet white wine will go perfectly with your Crema Catalana. Riesling or Moscato are two great options that should be served chilled for maximum refreshment.
- Sparkling rosé: For a more unique twist, try pairing it with a sparkling rosé – it’s sure to add an unexpected layer of flavor and texture to the dish. If you prefer something non-alcoholic, why not opt for an orange juice spritzer?
- Fruit compote or coulis: This adds sweetness and texture to the dish while cutting through the richness of the custard. A simple coulis made from fresh berries or stone fruit will perfectly complement Crema Catalana’s flavor.
- Fresh fruits: One option for those with a sweet tooth is to pair the Crema Catalana with some fresh fruit. Strawberries or blueberries are great choices as they can be used as an accompaniment or a topping for this already delectable dish.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between crème brûlée and crema catalana?
Crème brûlée is a French dessert dating back to the 17th century and traditionally consists of a rich custard base with an added layer of caramelized sugar topping. On the other hand, Crema Catalana is a Catalan dessert from Spain which also contains egg yolks, milk, cream, and sugar for its base, but it’s usually served without the hard caramelized top. This dessert has a more velvety texture in comparison to the crème brûlée.
What does Crema Catalana taste like?
The base of Crema Catalana is lightly sweetened creamy custard flavored with lemon zest and cinnamon. The topping consists of a caramelized sugar crust that adds complexity and crunchiness to the smooth custard. Rich in flavor but not overly sweet, Crema Catalana has an unmistakable sugary taste combined with the subtle aroma of citrus and spice.
When served at room temperature or slightly chilled, this Catalan classic provides a delightful combination of creamy textures and flavors that can’t be found elsewhere.
Is Crema Catalana the same as flan?
Crema Catalana and flan are two traditional Spanish desserts that look and taste quite similar. Many people think they’re the same dish! However, there are some key differences between them.
Crema Catalana has a creamy custard texture and contains cinnamon or lemon zest for flavor. On the other hand, Flan is made with a light egg custard base baked until golden brown in color. This classic Spanish dessert typically includes vanilla or caramel syrup to give it its sweet flavor.
How to store leftovers:
The best way to store leftover Crema Catalana is to cover it with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. This will help keep the custard from drying out and prevent other odors from seeping into the pudding.
In addition, make sure to put the Crema Catalana in the refrigerator immediately, especially if it has been sitting at room temperature for more than two hours. If left out too long, mold could grow on your pudding.
Crema Catalana can be stored for about three days in the refrigerator. To achieve a wonderful hot-cold effect, it is suggested to add and caramelize the sugar to the surface right before serving.
Here are a few tips to make Crema Catalana the star of the show.
- Choose the right ingredients. Start by selecting fresh eggs and milk. If possible, use organic or free-range products for the best flavor. Also, look for quality cinnamon sticks, as these will give your Crema Catalana an extra layer of flavor.
- Slowly mix the ingredients. Remember to blend everything together slowly when preparing the custard base to avoid any lumpy texture.
- Don’t make the dish too sweet. Finally, when adding sugar, be sure not to overwhelm the dish; just enough sweetness will bring out all of its flavors.
With these simple steps in mind, you’ll have a perfect Crema Catalana that will leave your guests asking for more!
Crema Catalana Recipe
Crema Catalana is a Spanish dessert made using milk, eggs, and sugar. The mixture is flavored with orange peel and cinnamon sticks. Once the mixture has chilled in the fridge it is topped with sugar and caramelized with a torch.
- 1 1/2 Cup milk
- 2 Orange peels (around 1/3 orange)
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp water
- 3 Egg yolks
- 1/2 Cup confectioners sugar
- Sugar to sprinkle on top
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk, orange peels, and cinnamon stick to a boil.
- While the milk is heating, mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
Whisk together the egg yolks and confectioners sugar in a separate bowl until fluffy and pale.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the egg and whisk until incorporated.
- Once the milk is boiling, add 1 tbsp milk to the egg and whisk. Repeat the process until you have incorporated around 1/4 of the milk into the eggs.
- Pour the egg mixture back into the pot and, with the help of a spatula, mix until combined.
- Continue constantly stirring until the crema has thickened, around 6 minutes.
Pour into the ramekins and cool down. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Sprinkle with sugar and caramelize with a torch.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 50mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 5g
These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.