JESSIE We first had this in the Old Bailey, where we had been invited by a judge (an old Manchester friend of my mum’s) to join him for a formal ceremonial lunch. Seven months pregnant and desperate for any booze, I happily wolfed down the rum raisin crème brûlée. When we went to make crème brûlée for actress Hayley Squires, we made literal flames.
LENNIE This recipe caused Jessie and I to have a culinary dispute. She was too handy with the blowtorch that was extremely fierce and not well attached. It was chaos in the kitchen with flame throwers setting fire to the crème brûlées. I had to take over, with disastrous results, and it was nearly mama brûlée – but we laughed until we couldn’t breathe.
JESSIE We felt this needed to be included in the book as a motivation to all new cooks: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again’ (if you haven’t set fire to yourself in the process).
2 tbsp white rum
300ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways and seeds scraped out
3 large egg yolks
50g caster sugar
4 tsp demerara sugar
1. The day before you make this, soak the raisins in the rum overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.
3. Divide the rum-soaked raisins between 4 x 150ml ramekins.
4. Put the cream in a pan and add the vanilla pod and seeds. Place over a low heat until just below boiling point, then carefully fish out and discard the vanilla pod.
5. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar. Slowly pour in the hot cream, whisking as you go.
6. Place the ramekins in a roasting tin and pour the custard into them. Pour boiling water into the roasting tin until it reaches two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 25-30 minutes until just set but still wobbly.
7. Leave to cool and then chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
8. Sprinkle a teaspoon of demerara sugar over each ramekin and blowtorch until the sugar begins to sizzle and brown. If you don’t have a blowtorch, pop the ramekins under a hot grill for 4-5 minutes to caramelise the sugar.
9. Chill the crème brûlées for at least 30 minutes before serving.