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Grapefruit Crème Brûlée

from Global Comfort Food

Exquisitely decadent and famously French, crème brûlée is the sweetest of comfort foods. This version has a local twist—Texas,grapefruit.

Makes 6 servings

FOR THE CUSTARD

3 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons grapefruit zest, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
Pinch of sea salt

FOR THE TOPPING

6 tablespoons granulated sugar
Fresh grapefruit segments

Preheat oven to 325°F. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, grapefruit zest, vanilla and salt until well blended. Slowly add the warm cream—small amounts at a time—while continually stirring.

Divide liquid among 6 (6-ounce) ramekins and place ramekins in a roasting or cake pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custard is set but still trembling a little in the middle, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove ramekins from the pan, allow to cool for 20 minutes and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The baked custard can be made up to 2 days ahead of serving and stored covered in the refrigerator.

Remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Top each ramekin evenly with sugar. Using a kitchen blowtorch, melt the sugar while moving the torch briskly on the topping until the sugar caramelizes and turns golden. If you don’t have a blowtorch, place the ramekins under the broiler until the sugar is caramelized. Serve with fresh grapefruit segments.

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