Crema Catalana – a delightful tradition 

 December 25, 2020

By  Tatiana

Today is Christmas Day, a day that many people think is the best day of the year. And I love this day myself, because of the food, the presents and the nice family feeling that you automatically get! But I mainly love breakfast with leftovers from the previous day. As a child, Christmas morning was truly my wonderland and now that I have a family of my own, I would like to continue my traditions and share them with you. And make new ones of course.

Happy Christmas to everyone! Hopefully everyone will have a good time despite the fact that we are not allowed to celebrate with many people! Hopefully everyone has a loved one with them as these times make it more difficult to be with family. We all need to follow the rules carefully, so that together we can make the world a healthy place again. And I hope to make you all a little happier with a delicious recipe! But first a story about my mother and her baking.

My mom really likes to bake. She had a little recipe book with all her recipes and I could always look in it, but I couldn’t have! If I wanted to, I would have to be really careful with it, because they were all very old family recipes. Together we baked tasty cookies, but also tasty meals. I was always glad when I could bake with her. With my mother in France, I took my first steps on the cooking path, baking treats together! And also with cooking delicious dishes that are super old-fashioned and traditional, recipes that my father learned from my mother and still makes for us at home. You will also find these recipes in my cookbook.

Those are very nice tasty memories, which is why it is so nice to be in the kitchen with my father-in-law. So I feel like I’m continuing a tradition that I really love! Cooking and learning new recipes is really a must for me. I can never sit still, you have probably already realized that. A year ago I was sitting at the table with my new parents-in-law for the first time, in a new country where I got all these new traditions!

That is why today I have chosen to share a traditional recipe with you, the crema catalana! It’s actually the Spanish version of the creme brulée that I really love. The orange and cinnamon really finish this dish. You really have to get the hang of it before you can cook this dessert flawlessly, but I think that’s the case with half of the desserts I picked this week. Some of them I’ve never made before, and in the end I had great fun and great results presenting them to you! And I will certainly make a lot of recipes a few more times to perfect them, such as the Buche de Noël and the lemon meringue pie!

The best thing about this recipe is that you can make meringues from the leftover egg whites! So you can choose to make this recipe in combination with another recipe for which you need egg whites and you will not have left overs. Keep your mind on it when you are going to make this dish, because it can quickly go wrong. Luis knows all about that.


This recipe makes about 6 bowls

  • 1 liter of milk
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 30 gr of cornstarch
  • some orange zest
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100 gr of sugar


Please note that for this recipe you need a kitchen blowtorch to make that delicious crust on top, and that you first have to let the desserts stiffen in the refrigerator. So you have to start well in advance. Caramelize the sugar with the kitchen torch just before serving, otherwise it will get wet again. Should that happen, you can sprinkle some fresh sugar over the top and burn it again.

Heat the milk with the cinnamon stick in a pot. Let the milk get warm but do not boil it! While the milk is heating, add some orange zest to the pot with milk. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy, and then add the cornstarch. Remove the milk from the heat and pour it through a strainer. Pour the milk into the beaten egg yolks while stirring with a normal whisk so that it becomes an even mixture. Stir for a few minutes. Then pour the mixture into a saucepan. From the moment you put that pan on the fire, you have to keep stirring.

Heat the mixture while stirring until it becomes a thicker cream. This can easily take up to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, keep stirring for about 1 minute and then pour the cream into the desired shape. Low terracotta dishes are best suited for this. Let them cool for a while and then put them in the fridge for a few hours.

Do not take your crema catalana out of the refrigerator until you are going to serve it. When that moment comes, sprinkle some brown sugar on top and burn it with the blowtorch. Voilà, a traditional and delicious Spanish dessert!

The result

It is very important that you keep stirring this mixture once you put it on the stove. If you do this well, your mix will become thicker and thicker, and then it suddenly becomes a really nice cream. If you do it wrong, your cream will flake. That’s really a waste of the ingredients and we don’t want to waste any food, right?

It was really nice to learn how to make this recipe, but at first I thought that it really contained a lot of eggs. That’s why I decided to make my meringue recipe to use up most of that leftover protein. The rest went in my lemon merengue!

It is actually very nice to learn the “sisters” of certain dishes. I am now curious if there is another kind of creme brulée in the world! Then I definitely want to try it out! Or maybe make my own twists, that’s what I’m happy for.

Do you have a to-go traditional dessert? I am always curious about that. Would you like to share your recipe with me? Or did you make this recipe for crema catalana self? Then I am really curious about the result. Share your photos with me and who knows, maybe your dessert will end up on my Instagram!

Tatiana Tor

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Wishing you a great day, love Tatiana.

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