Chef Kieron prefers this Spanish take on the traditional créme brûlée for its light and airy texture. Kieron’s version is infused with citrus, star anise and green cardamom giving it some bright citrus notes for the ideal summer dessert. Serve with a piece of shortbread on the side and perfecto!

Crema Catalana Recipe Crema Catalana Recipe


  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons whole cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon green cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon star anise
  • 1 cup of egg yolks
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Fill a large pot with water. You’ll need enough water (and a large-enough pot) to be able to submerge a vessel containing two cups of liquid. Leave Cold.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cream, yolks, sugar, salt and cornstarch and mix until smooth.
  3. In a new pot, combine milk, orange zest, lemon and lime zest, cinnamon, green cardamom, star anise and heat to 158 °F / 70 °C. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes.  If possible 2 hours is better.
  4. Strain the infusion and pour slowly into the yolk-and-sugar mixture while constantly mixing.  TIP: Slow means sloooooooooow. If the eggs heat too rapidly, they’ll curdle. Hold the infused cream close to the yolk mixture and begin pouring at a glacial speed. You can pick up the pace as you go, but seriously folks, keep it mellow; this is not the time to be scrambling eggs.
  5. Transfer the liquid mixture to ball jars.  Place lid on finger tight. Place in the pot of cold water.  Cook for 45 minutes.
  6. Transfer the contents to a blender and blend on low speed until very smooth and homogenous.
  7. Quickly strain the custard and pour into wide-mouth canning jars or other single-serving vessels. The custard will thicken quickly, so work fast.
  8. Gently tap the jars or other vessels against your work surface to level them off.
  9. Place vessels in ice water to rapidly cool the custard until it’s set.
  10. Once cool, wrap and store in the fridge for up to a week.