Lemon Drop Creme Brulee Martinis
- Lemon Curd:
- 4 eggs
- 12 ounces sugar
- 6 ounces lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely chopped
- 6 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 ounces sugar
- 7 egg yolks
- 1 egg white
- 14 ounces heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar for "burnt" top
- 10 martini glasses (Thicker glass preferred. Use caution when baking in glass. Test one first to be sure it will withstand the heat of the oven. 4-ounce ramekins may be used as a substitute if necessary.)
For the lemon curd: Beat the eggs and sugar in a small stainless steel or copper pot (do not use aluminum as it will leave deposits in your curd!). Add the lemon juice, zest, and butter. Bring to a high simmer and cook until mixture thickens. Strain immediately through a sieve or cheesecloth. Spoon 1-ounce of curd into each of the 10 martini glasses. This is best done while the curd is warm but can also be done once it's cooled if necessary. Chill the glasses with the curd until the curd is cold and set.
For the custard: Split the vanilla bean with a paring knife and scrape the seeds into the sugar. Use your fingers to work the beans into the sugar making an even mixture. Mix this mixture with the egg yolks and the eggs. Don't whip it but be sure to completely mix it so the color is consistent throughout. Bring the cream to a boil, remove from the heat and slowly pour it into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Add the vanilla extract.
To bake the creme brulee: Pour 3 ounces of the warm custard mixture into each of the glasses (over the lemon curd). Find a deep pan (preferably at least 6 inches deep. Restaurant supply stores commonly sell these as "hotel" or "insert" pans) and place the filled martini glasses in them. Set the pan on the bottom shelf of a 325 degrees F oven. Using a water pitcher, pour enough water into the pan to at least cover the stems of the glasses ideally you can pour enough to come up about 1/3 of the way on the part of the glass the holds the custard. Baking times will vary depending on the amount of water in the pan and the type of pan used, but will be somewhere around 45 minutes to 1 hour. The custard is done when you tap the side of the glass and it looks thick and moves as one (as opposed to the center of the custard giggling more than the outside). Carefully remove the pan from the oven and let cool at room temperature for about 1 hour. Transfer creme brulees into the refrigerator to cool and set completely.
To finish the creme brulee: Sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar over each of the custards. Use your finger to spread it evenly over the top. Light a blowtorch and turn it to the high setting. Melt and caramelize the sugar quickly. Note that a flame that is too low or prolonged heat towards the edge of the martini glass may break the glass. Use caution and practice on one away from the others so that if it does break you don't get glass in the other custards. Creme brulees can be caramelized ("burnt") up to 4 hours before service and held in the refrigerator.
Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy of Dzintra Dzenis