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Tamarind & Thyme  Crème Brûlée

Tamarind & Thyme Crème Brûlée

This delicious version of rhubarb and custard uses boonjie tamarind, a bright-red, tangy fruit that’s a refreshing treat eaten raw or used as a paste, chutney or sauce.

250g boonjie tamarind, chopped (you can also use rhubarb or under-ripe peaches)

1 cup caster sugar

¼ cup water

¼ cup orange juice

500ml double cream

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

6 sprigs of native thyme

6 egg yolks

¼ cup caster sugar, extra, for sprinkling

2 sprigs native thyme, for garnish (optional)



Preheat oven to 180°C. Place tamarind, ½ cup sugar, water and orange juice in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to boil. 

Reduce heat to medium and cook for 18–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the consistency is thick and jammy.

Spoon into the base of 4 x ¾ cup heat-proof ramekins or dishes. Place cream, vanilla essence and thyme sprigs in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove thyme.

Place egg yolks and remaining sugar together in a bowl and whisk. Pour cream mixture into egg mixture and whisk. Pour back into the saucepan, heat over low heat and cook for 4 minutes or until thick. 

Carefully pour into ramekins. Place in a baking dish and pour boiling water into the baking dish to about halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until just set. (The brûlée should have a slight wobble.)

Cool at room temperature. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until cold. Sprinkle with extra sugar and torch the tops with a kitchen blowtorch until golden and caramelised. Serve immediately.

Note: If you don’t have a kitchen blowtorch, preheat oven grill to high. Place ramekins under grill for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until tops are golden and caramelised.

This recipe is from the book by Damien Coulthard and Rebecca Sullivan – Warndu Mai (Good Food), available from Hachette Australia. You can learn more about Damien and Rebecca and the work they do with Australian native foods at Warndu.