Muscat crème brûlée with poached plums and plum sorbet


  • Serves 4 people

  • 150 ml pouring cream
  • 100 ml milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 15 ml muscat
  • 50 gm caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Poached plums
  • 1 litre (4 cups) red wine
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 3 star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 300 gm caster sugar
  • 4 lemons, juice only (about 200 ml)
  • 10 (about 1.5 kg) blood plums or other red skinned plum
  • Plum sorbet
  • 275 gm glucose
  • 50 gm caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, juice only
01   For poached plums, heat all ingredients except plums in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, add plums and cook gently for 5 minutes or until plums are tender. Remove plums from liquid and cool. Reserve liquid. Remove stones from 6 plums and purée in a food processor, then pass through a fine sieve. Discard solids. You will need 2 cups of plum purée.
02   For plum sorbet, heat 1 cup plum purée and glucose in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until glucose has dissolved. Add sugar and remaining purée, stir to combine and pass through a fine sieve. Churn in an ice-cream machine according manufacturer’s instructions. Makes about 1.25 litres.
03   Preheat oven to 100C. Combine cream, milk, vanilla bean and muscat in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and bring almost to the boil. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until thick and pale. Whisking continuously, add half the hot cream mixture, then stir in the rest. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, then ladle into 4x100ml cup-capacity ramekins. Place ramekins in a roasting pan and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until set. Check brûlées throughout cooking process to ensure they are not cooking too quickly.
04   To serve, simmer 1 cup of plum poaching liquid in a saucepan over medium heat until reduced to ½ cup. Scatter brûlées with caster sugar and caramelise with a blow torch or under a hot grill. Serve with poached plums drizzled with reduced syrup and sorbet.
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