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Home : Desserts : Pudding : California Walnut and Vanilla Creme Brulee

Makes 10 Servings
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California Walnut and Vanilla Creme Brulee

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - Soft vanilla flavour penetrates every inch of this rich, creamy dessert and takes on a unique twist with the addition of crunchy California walnuts a-top the caramelized sugar.

California Walnut and Vanilla Creme Brulee
Adapted from Chef/Owner Ethan Stowell, Union Restaurant, Seattle, WA


  • 4 cups whipping cream 1 L
  • 2 cups California walnuts, toasted 500 mL
  • 2 tbsp walnut oil 30 mL
  • 12 egg yolks 12
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 250 mL
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped 1

Glazed Walnuts

  • 10 California walnut halves 10
  • 1 tsp maple syrup 5 mL
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, for caramelizing 175 mL


Combine cream, walnuts and walnut oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Heat to 200 F [93 C]. Remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes to allow infusion of walnut flavour. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and keep warm. Discard walnuts.

Beat egg yolks, sugar and vanilla bean in a mixing bowl until pale and thick. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Gradually pour the cream into the egg mixture, whisking until combined.

Pour mixture into 10 6-oz [175 mL] ramekins. Place ramekins in a large baking pan; pour boiling water into the pan to halfway up sides. Bake at 300 F [150 C] about 50 to 60 minutes, or until custard is just set. Remove from oven and set ramekins on a rack to cool slightly. Transfer to refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Glazed Walnuts

Meanwhile place walnuts in small dry skillet over medium heat. Stir a few minutes until fragrant. Stir maple syrup into walnuts and cook 1 minute, or until well-coated and syrup is absorbed into walnuts. Transfer to parchment paper-lined tray to cool. Dust lightly with icing sugar.

Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tbsp [15 mL] sugar on each ramekin. Using a kitchen torch or oven broiler brown and caramelize sugar. Immediately top with a glazed walnut.

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Serving Size: Makes 10 Servings



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