Margarita's International Recipes


Crema Catalana

Catalan Burnt Cream

I've never made creme brulee, so I can't tell you if there are any differences between the acclaimed French dessert and crema catalana. They definitely work under the same principle. The custard is relatively easy to make, and you are likely to have all the ingredients you need at home. What didn't work for me was the caramelizing of the sugar. I don't have a kitchen torch, and perhaps my broiler never got hot enough, but the sugar just would refuse to caramelize. Perhaps you'll have better luck. That said, I think you should probably look for another recipe, or double the quantity of sugar used in the custard - it just wasn't sweet enough.

Crema Catalana


  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, grated
  • 3" cinnamon stick


Whisk together the yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until pale and creamy.

Meanwhile, in another (large) bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of milk.

Comine 3 3/4 cups of milk, lemon zest and cinnamon stick in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over low heat until it starts bubbling on the sides, about 10 minutes.

Whisk the yolks into the cornstarch mixture until well blended. Add the hot milk to the mixture, a little bit at the time, whisking constantly.

Strain the mixture into the saucepan used to heat up the milk. Heat slowly over very low heat until it thickens into a custard, about 15 minutes, stirring constantly.

Pour the custard into ramekins and let cool at room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 12 hours.

When ready to serve, sprinkle sugar onto the custards evenly. Caramelize with a hot iron or kitchen torch, or place in a pre-heated broiler for 2 minutes, or until the sugar caramelizes. Serve.

Adapted from a recipe in Williams Sonoma Barcelona: Authentic Recipes Celebrating the Foods of the World

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