Recipe from The Brazilian Kitchen by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz (Kyle Books, 2012)Crème Brûlée de Abacate
Most people think of only guacamole and salads when it comes to avocado but I really love to use avocados in desserts, the way we do in Brazil. The buttery texture of avocado lends a perfect creaminess to this re-invented crème brûlée which, unlike the classic recipe, is not baked at all. This mixture of avocado and condensed milk is simply puréed in a food processor. After you have simulated the consistency of a custard, you add a crunchy layer of burnt sugar on top immediately before serving. The result is a truly inspired dessert that takes less than 5 minutes to make plus a little chilling time. Because of its richness, this dessert can also act as a mini crème brûlée: simply serve it in smaller ramekins. This will yield more servings, of course, depending on how small a ramekin you use.
Finding blowtorches: Because crème brûlée has become so popular, it is very easy to find blowtorches these days. If there are no high-end kitchen stores around you, most DIY stores carry them. However, if you can’t find one, you can use a grill. Preheat the grill and place the ramekins in an ice bath in a roasting tin. Spread the sugar as described in the recipe, and place the pan under the grill. Depending on your grill, it can take seconds or minutes to caramelise the sugar, so stand by
watching very carefully. When the sugar starts to bubble, remove the roasting tin from the grill, then remove the ramekins from the ice bath.
- 300ml (10fl oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 medium firm-ripe Hass avocados, peeled, stoned
- and cut into chunks
- 2–3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 100g (31/2 oz) sugar, for topping
- propane blowtorch
- 4 x 120ml (4fl oz) ramekins
1. Place the condensed milk and avocados in a food processor and process until the mixture is velvety smooth, about 1–2 minutes. Add the lemon juice a tablespoon at a time, and pulse for a few more seconds after each addition. At this point, taste the avocado cream to check if the lemon juice is giving the right balance. I usually use 2 tablespoons and add a drop or two more if necessary.
2. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the ramekins, making sure that it is level inside the ramekin. Chill for 4 hours in the refrigerator.
3. Just before serving, spread a thin layer of sugar evenly over the top of each custard. Ignite the blowtorch to medium. Melt the sugar by moving the flame back and forth across the custard while maintaining a distance of 5cm (2 inches) between the flame and the surface. The sugar will melt, bubble, then turn into a golden caramel. In less than a minute, it will harden to a delicious crust. Allow to cool for 3–5 minutes before serving. Do not brûlée the dessert more then 20 minutes in advance of serving.