Usually, I stick to the Italian tradition, but by now, this dessert has entered our kitchens too. Moreover, I added a personal touch, since I had fantastic organic oranges at home, at the top of their Sicilian flavor. It is a very simple dessert, which can be done one day in advance, and does not require special skills.
If you want to stick to tradition, discard the liquor and orange zest and replace with vanilla. The best part is caramelizing the sugar in front of your guests, very funny and impressive.

orange creme brule creme brule all'arancia
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Yields: it serves 6


  • 2 cups (500 ml) fresh whipping cream
  • ¾ cup (200 ml.) milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 organic orange
  • ¾ cup (100 g.) icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 F (180C) and put 6 small ovenproof ramekins in a baking tin.
In a medium bowl, combine yolks and icing sugar, and mix with a whisk. Shave the orange zest in it.
Keep mixing while you slowly add all the ingredients except the caster sugar.
Divide the mixture between the ramekins and pour warm water into the tin until it comes two-thirds of the way up the ramekins. Bake for about 50 minutes until the custard is set – it should only wobble faintly when shaken. Cool and then chill until cold.
Before serving it, scatter the tops of the cold brûlèes with caster sugar, and use a blowtorch or hot grill to caramelize the tops – if using a grill, you may need to put them back in the fridge for half an hour before serving to cool down again.

Recipe Notes

Special Equipment
4 (6-ounce) ramekins
You might find some recipes which advice using a red-hot spoon in case you do not have a blowtorch. It is the best way to spoil a good spoon.

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About the Author

Growing up in Emilia Romagna, a region known for Parmesan, Parma ham, lasagna, and filled pasta, a great deal of my childhood was spent in the kitchen with my grandmother and mother.

Even at a very young age, I could see that for them cooking was a passionate expression of their love for their family. While I’m filled with many warm memories of watching them cook, what I remember most is circling the table and watching the stove, waiting for any opportunity I could to steal a taste.