House and Garden UK
Spiced, milky, sweet tea is very popular in North India. It also makes a gorgeous, rich pudding. You need to start this recipe 2 days ahead.
FOR THE FIGS:
170g dried figs, stalks snipped off
1 stick cinnamon, broken
3 strips finely pared lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
FOR THE CREME BRULEE:
700ml double cream
6 green cardamom pods, bruised
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
2 tablespoons Assam tea leaves
6 medium egg yolks
3 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Place the figs, brandy, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan. Set over a low heat and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, cover and leave until cold. Transfer to a sealed container and macerate for 24 hours, turning them regularly.
The next day, place the cream, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan. Over a low heat, bring slowly to the boil. Stir in the tea, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Return to just below boiling point, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse until tepid. Strain into a jug, extracting as much of the cream as possible.
Cut the figs into raisin-size chunks. Mix with any remaining spiced brandy then divide between 6 x 150ml soufflé pots.
Whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar, then stir in the strained cream and pour into a clean saucepan. Set over a low heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir continuously until the mixture thickens into a thick velvety custard that coats the back of the spoon – it should take about 10-12 minutes. If the custard feels as though it’s getting too hot, remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir until it cools slightly.
Pour the thickened custard over the diced figs and, when cool, lightly cover and chill in the fridge. The custards will thicken further as they cool. Ideally leave them overnight.
To serve, sprinkle the top of each custard with an even but thin layer of granulated sugar. Caramelise with a cook’s blowtorch, or set the pots under a very hot grill. Allow to cool and set, then serve.
To drink: Australia’s sweet, unctuous fortified Muscats are the very best partner for these rich, spicy creams: Blind Spot Rutherglen Muscat, £7.25 for 37.5cl, The Wine Society (01438-741177). Wine details correct at original magazine publication date.
From the October 2014 issue of House & Garden. Recipe by Sybil Kapoor; photograph by Tara Fisher; food preparation and styling by Aya Nishimura; table styling by Alexander Breeze; wine recommendations by Joanna Simon.
Featured Image: Alex Munsell, Unsplash