Earl Grey burnt cream

Earl Grey burnt cream

Ever since the dim and dark days of my childhood I have adored crème brûlée, and it remains in my top three puddings to this day. I can’t stand the trend of bunging red fruits in crème brûlée. In this recipe, the silky and fabulous custard is accentuated with a hint of Earl Grey tea; the scent of bergamot really complements the pudding.


  • 200 ml Milk
  • 325 ml Double (heavy) cream
  • 2 tsp Loose Earl Grey tea leaves
  • 125 g Egg yolks
  • 175 g Caster (superfine) sugar (100g for brûléeing the tops)
  • 7 fl oz Milk
  • 11.4 fl oz Double (heavy) cream
  • 2 tsp Loose Earl Grey tea leaves
  • 4.4 oz Egg yolks
  • 6.2 oz Caster (superfine) sugar (100g for brûléeing the tops)
  • 0.8 cup Milk
  • 1.4 cups Double (heavy) cream
  • 2 tsp Loose Earl Grey tea leaves
  • 4.4 oz Egg yolks
  • 6.2 oz Caster (superfine) sugar (100g for brûléeing the tops)


  • Cuisine: British
  • Recipe Type: Dessert
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Preparation Time: 10 mins
  • Cooking Time: 40 mins
  • Serves: 8


  1. Preheat the oven to 120ºC/250ºF/gas mark ½. Pour the milk and cream into a large pan up to scalding point - that is, when the bubbles just start to rise
  2. Wrap the loose tea leaves in a 15cm/6-inch square piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and immerse them in the hot cream and milk. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then remove and discard the muslin and tea leaves. The Earl Grey will have lightly infused the cream and milk mixture
  3. Beat together the egg yolks and the 75g/3oz/1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk, until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy. Pour the milk and cream mixture into the egg yolks and sugar, whisking while you do so
  4. Pour the custard into 8 ramekins or shallow individual heatproof dishes. Place the ramekins in a deep roasting tin (pan), pour 2.5cm/1 inch of water into the tin to create a bain marie and bake for 14 minutes. Turn the tin and cook for a further 14 minutes
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. The pots of custard will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. To serve, sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar and caramelize with a blowtorch (you can do this under a hit grill, but make sure the ramekins are close to the element)

Countrywise Country Cookbook by Mike Robinson, published by Pavilion.

Image photography is by Kristen Perers.


Paul A Young's tea bread

Britain's top tea rooms by Sophie Morris

John Gregory-Smith's Beijing tea house stir-fry


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