Apple Crème Brûlée

The addition of Crispin, Spartan or Empire apples gives this classic dessert a new flavour. A little patience in preparing the custard will reward you with this elegant finale.

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 30 minues
Cook Time: 45 minutes

4 cups (1L) peeled, cored and chopped firm Ontario Apples (about 4 medium) 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon 1/2 tsp (2 mL) finely grated lemon rind Pinch ground nutmeg Custard: 4 egg yolks 1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar 2 cups (500 mL) whipping cream (35%) 1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla 1/4 cup (50 mL) packed brown sugar, sifted

Cooking Instructions:
In medium heavy-bottom saucepan, combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind and nutmeg; cook over medium heat until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Spread in six 6 oz/175 mL heatproof ramekins or in medium casserole dish. Custard: Meanwhile in medium bowl, beat yolks with sugar. Heat cream in apple saucepan until just before boiling, scraping down any apple mixture clinging to sides. Whisking constantly, pour gradually into yolk mixture. Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Do not let boil (set saucepan immediately in large bowl of cold water to prevent overcooking and curdling). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Strain evenly onto chilled apple mixture and let cool (preferably overnight). ​At least 1 hour before serving and up to 1 day ahead, sprinkle custards with brown sugar. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes until sugar melts and colours. Chill until ready to serve. Tip: Use a propane torch in the final step instead of the broiler. Wave it about 6 inches (15 cm) above the sugar to melt.