“Amélie Poulain cultive un goût particulier pour les tous petits plaisirs. Elle aime plonger sa main au plus profond d’un sac de grain… briser la croûte des crèmes brûlées avec la pointe de la petite cuillère… et faire des ricochets sur le Canal Saint-Martin…“
Translate as: Amélie is simple; she has devoted herself to simple pleasures, such as cracking crème brûlée with a teaspoon, going for walks in the Paris sunshine, skipping stones across St. Martin’s Canal…
Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain happens to be my favorite movie. It is a film so original, so funny, and so warm that it made my heart smile. It is heart-warming, not in the phony Hollywood movie sense; but in the sense of how good you feel when laughing with a dear, dear friend.
You may wonder what my favorite movie has to do with a cooking blog… Well, a memorable thing about Amélie is that she likes cracking the caramelized sugar crust on the top of crème brûlée with the back of a tiny spoon. Breaking into the top of crème brûlée truly is wonderful, from the sound of the cracking to the textural contrast between the thick, crusty sugar shell and the delicate, smooth custard underneath.
While I adore the classic crème brûlée, I’ve decided to be adventurous and create a savory version this time, as an homage to the lovely, curious lead character. The luscious foie gras complements the silky custard, with the sugar coat together they create a sublime contrast: each bite, crunchy and smooth, toasty and lush, is a revelation.
- 150g duck foie gras (I use Rougie bloc de foie gras)
- 3 egg yolks
- 15ml milk
- 150g whipping cream
- Half cup of white sugar
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 100 deg C.
- In a mixing bowl, cut the foie gras into pieces. Add the whipping cream.
- Add in milk and egg yolks.
- Season with salt, pepper.
- Combine with a hand mixer until the mixture is homogenous.
- Place the ramekins into a roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. (this water bath with prevent cracks in the custard)
- Bake at 100°C for 40-45 minutes, until the mixture is softly set.
(Gently sway the ramekins and if the crème brûlées are ready, they will wobble a bit like a jelly in the middle. Don’t let them get too firm.)
- Lift the ramekins out of the roasting pan with oven gloves and allow them to cool at room temperature for 30min.
- Put in the fridge to cool completely, at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Sift a generous amount of sugar evenly over custard. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top.
- Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.