Vanilla Crème Brûlée with Apple Compote

Round off your meal with a rich, textured dessert like this one!


  • 300 ml milk
  • 600 ml cream
  • 400 g can coconut milk
  • 1 vanilla pod (split and seeds scraped out)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • for the compote:
  • 1 cooking apple (peeled, cored and finely diced)
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • fresh mint leaves (to decorate)
  • vanilla ice cream (to serve)


  1. Preheat oven to 90°C (185°F/Gas 1/4). Place the milk in a pan with the cream, coconut milk and scraped out vanilla pod and then simmer gently until the mixture just comes to the boil.
  2. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a large bowl with 125g of the sugar and the scraped out vanilla seeds. Beat together lightly. Slowly pour the hot coconut milk into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Pass through a sieve into a clean bowl.
  3. Using a ladle, divide the mixture into 8 x 200ml ramekins that are arranged on a baking tray. Fill the tray with enough boiling water to come half way up the sides of the brûlée dishes and cover the whole tray tightly with foil.
  4. Carefully transfer to the oven to bake for 50-55 minutes or until just set but still with a slight wobble in the middle.
  5. Carefully remove from the oven and leave aside, still covered in foil, for 30 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely.
  6. Transfer to the fridge and allow to set for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, make the apple compote. Place the sugar in a pan with 5 tablespoons of water and bring to the boil. Add the diced apples and bring back to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
  8. To serve, sprinkle each of the brûlées in an even layer with the remaining caster sugar (or raw cane sugar if using) and then use a blowtorch to melt and glaze the sugar until golden brown and caramelised.
  9. Arrange on serving plates and spoon the apple compote into a small dish to the side. Decorate with the mint leaves and add a scoop of ice cream to each plate.


Neven's Tips: I like to use raw cane sugar for the Brûlée top, but you could always use caster sugar if preferred. I normally use a blowtorch for this recipe but you do need to be careful with them and they are definitely not for the faint-hearted. Alternatively, place the brûlées under a hot grill, but watch them like a hawk because they do burn very easily. When glazed they should be a nice mahogany brown colour. But don't go poking your fingers into the brûlée topping - hot, 'burny' sugar. Ouch!


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