Ginger Chile Creme Brulee
This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors (yellow, orange, green, red, chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique, distinctively fruity flavor. It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.
Yields 8 Servings
4 eggs + 2 yolks
2 pints cream
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp orange liquer (e.g. triple sec)
4 tbsp finely diced ginger root
4 finely diced serrano chiles
2 dried habaneros, stemmed, seeded and powdered
granulated sugar (for the tops)
In the bowl of a double boiler, beat the eggs and sugar, and stir in the cream, liquer, ginger, and both chiles. Mix well. Place the double boiler over (not in!) water that is barely simmering. Stir constantly for 30-45 minutes, until the mixture has thickened some. Do not let the temperature get too high or the eggs may scramble.
When the mixture has thickened, strain it to remove the chunks of ginger and chile, and pour into 8 ceramic serving cups. Chill for at least two hours, or overnight.
Shortly before serving, remove from the refrigerator and cover the top of each serving dish with an 1/8″ layer of sugar, all the way to the edges of the dish. Hit the top of each with a blowtorch until the sugar completely caramelizes. If you don’t have a blowtorch, you can put the sugared creme brulees 1″ under a hot broiler to caramelize the sugar.) Let cool until the dishes can be handled, and serve.