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Culinary SOS

Raspberry Creme Brulee : Crispy Top Is Achieved by Broiling Instead of Torching

January 22, 1987|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: Recently I tasted a creme brulee, which was especially good with raspberries, at Le Chardonnay on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. Can you obtain the recipe? I hope it will not require a torch to crisp the top as some recipes dictate.


Dear Ada: What a hit this dessert made in our Test Kitchen. As for crisping the top, the recipe calls only for broiling, not torching. To prevent the custard cups or souffle dishes from cracking under heat, they are placed in a tub of ice and water before broiling about two inches from the source of heat.



8 egg yolks

1 quart whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 baskets fresh raspberries

Gradually beat 6 1/2 tablespoons sugar into egg yolks in medium bowl. Whisk constantly until mixture is light and creamy. Whisk in cream and vanilla.

Place 7 raspberries into each of 8 ramekins. Pour custard mixture into ramekins. Place in large baking pan. Add warm water to reach halfway up ramekins. Bake at 350 degrees 50 minutes or until set. Remove from water and cool. Refrigerate a few hours.

Puree remaining berries in food processor, then strain. Pour 1 teaspoon puree onto each custard and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar. Set cups in baking pan half filled with ice and water. Broil about 2 inches from heat about 3 minutes or until tops are caramelized. Makes 8 servings.

Dear SOS: One recipe I have not yet seen in the Los Angeles Times is for steak Diane flambe. If you have a recipe for steak Diane in your archives, I would very much appreciate a copy.


Dear Richard: The Times has printed numerous recipes for steak Diane in the past, particularly in the '70s, when there was a fashionable demand for them. The dish's popularity waned and we lost touch. It's time for a revival of this American classic, however, so thanks for asking. Here's a version likely to be found in restaurants where table-side cooking prevails.


1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup minced shallots or green onions

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup beef bouillon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 (6-ounce) New York cut steaks, 1/2 inch thick

1/4 cup brandy

Melt butter, then add shallots and cook until tender but not browned. Add Worcestershire, bouillon, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and cook until liquid is reduced by about half.

Meanwhile, pan-broil steaks until rare or done as desired. Transfer meat and sauce to chafing dish or leave in skillet. Add steaks to sauce and turn to coat well.

Warm brandy. Pour over steaks, heat sauce and ignite. Let flames die down and serve at once. Makes 2 servings.

Dear SOS: About two years ago, I clipped a recipe for German chocolate pie from your paper. I would appreciate the recipe.


Dear Pam: Certainly, if it's the same one we're thinking of.


1 (4-ounce) package sweet chocolate

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 unbaked (9- or 10-inch) pie shell

1/3 cup flaked coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Melt chocolate with butter over low heat. Gradually blend in milk. Thoroughly mix sugar, salt and cornstarch. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually blend in chocolate mixture. Pour into pie shell.

Combine coconut and pecans and sprinkle over filling. Bake at 375 degrees 45 to 50 minutes or until puffed. Filling will be soft, but will set while cooling. Chill at least 4 hours before cutting. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Note: If top browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil during last 15 minutes.

Dear SOS: I lost my recipe for an easy cheese pie, which consisted of bread, cheese, milk and eggs. It was wonderful for brunch.

--MRS. W.B.H.

Dear Mrs. W.B.H.: Is this the recipe you mean? It can be varied by substituting diced green chiles for the green pepper and using Jack instead of Cheddar cheese.


4 to 5 slices day-old bread

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 1/4 cups milk

3 eggs, beaten

Salt, pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Cut bread into 1-inch cubes to make 3 cups. Place on bottom and sides of greased 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese.

Mix milk, eggs, salt and pepper to taste and cayenne pepper. Pour into pie plate over bread. Bake at 375 degrees 30 to 40 minutes or until puffed and browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 5 to 6 servings.

Note: To add tomatoes, slice 3 small tomatoes 1/4 inch thick and arrange in layer over bread before adding cheese.

Only recipes of general interest will be printed. We are unable to answer all requests. Please include restaurant address when requesting recipes from restaurants. Send your letter with self-addressed, stamped envelope to Culinary SOS, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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