Crema Catalana – sweet temptation from Spain

Crema Catalana - ©Gourmet Friday

Crema Catalana

The taste of this Spanish cream reminds me a lot of the popular crème caramelor crème brulee.  In any case, Crema Catalana is one of the most famous Spanish desserts in the world. In Spain and especially in Barcelona and the surrounding area of Catalonia you are very likely to meet him as Crema de Sant Josep. It is traditionally served on March 19, for the feast of the saint.

In fact, the recipe for Crema Catalana is inspired by the English Creme Anglaise, which in Cambridge is called Burned Cream and was once served with the emblem of the college, stamped with a seal on sugar crust, but that’s another story.


  • 2 tea cups cow milk
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 7 tbsp. sugar
  • 1½ tbsp. corn flour
  • ground nutmeg


Pour the milk into the saucepan along with the lemon zest and cinnamon. Put on the stove until it boils, remove and set aside for ten minutes. Remove the lemon zest and cinnamon stick.

Beat the yolks with 3 tbsp. sugar in a suitable bowl. Add the cornflour and mix well. Add a few tablespoons of warm milk and stir again until smooth.

Add the mixture to the remaining milk and return to the heat. Remove just before boiling.

Distribute in fireproof ceramic dishes, allow to cool and then put them refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Before serving, sprinkle the cream with sugar and nutmeg. Run the upper oven rack at maximum degrees. Bake on the top shelf until the sugar caramelizes. Be careful, this takes a few seconds.

Allow to cool slightly before serving. The caramel will retain its hardness for about half an hour.

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