Orange Crema Catalana with Saffron

  • Prep
    10 mins
  • Cook
    30 mins
  • Serves
  • Skill

Crema Catalana is more or less a Mediterranean take on a crème brûlée or burnt custard. This one is even more delicious than the standard classic pudding, being delicately scented with some extra, Moorish flavours – orange, cinnamon and golden saffron. It’s simple to make and you can prepare it the night before and just crisp up the top on the day.


  • 600 ml double cream
  • 3 strips pared orange rind
  • 1 small pinch saffron strands
  • 1 cinnamon stick broken
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 75 g caster sugar, plus an extra 6 tsp for the topping


  1. Place the cream, orange rind, saffron and cinnamon into a large saucepan over a medium-high heat.
  2. Bring to just below boiling point then remove from the heat. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes to infuse. Strain the recipe mix through a fine sieve.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar has completely dissolved. Gradually add the cream mixture, whisking until combined.
  4. Return to the saucepan. Place over a very low heat and cook, stirring continuously without boiling, for 20 minutes or until the custard has thickened.
  5. Pour the custard into 6 x 200ml ovenproof brûlée or ramekin dishes. Leave to cool completely at room temperature, then cover and place in the fridge overnight, or for at least 4 hours until firm.
  6. When you are ready to eat, preheat the grill to high. Sprinkle the extra sugar over the custard. Place the dishes into a deep roasting pan filled with ice. Cook under the hot grill for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar bubbles and caramelises. Alternatively use a cook’s blow torch.