You may think that making crème brûlée requires blowtorches, welder’s glasses, and asbestos gloves. But I’ve come up with an alternative method that doesn’t involve having to whip out the torch. Instead, a sweet, crunchy brittle is made in the oven, with only one requirement: keeping a very close eye on it as it cooks. The brittle is perched atop a delectable bowl of berry-studded sweetened Greek yogurt, which is just as creamy as the egg-, dairy-, and sugar-laden custard typical in crème brûlée, and it also brings a host of health benefits to the table.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cups organic plain Greek yogurt
11/4 cups fresh berries, any type
1 teaspoon Grade B maple syrup
To make the brittle, preheat the oven to 375°F and turn the oven light on. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the oil on the parchment paper with a paper towel, covering the parchment with a thin, even film of oil.
Put the maple syrup, almonds and cardamom in a small bowl. Pour the mixture onto the oiled parchment paper, then tilt the pan to spread it evenly. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, staying close to the oven. The syrup will first become bubbly, then, after another 2 or 3 minutes, the almonds will take on a nice golden color and the syrup will have a deep amber color.
At this point, remove the brittle from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
To make it easier to break into pieces, you can pop it into the freezer for about 5 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula, lift the hardened brittle and break it into randomly sized pieces. Use immediately or store in an airtight container.
To make the yogurt base and assemble the dish, put the yogurt, 1 cup of the berries, and the maple syrup in a bowl and stir gently to combine. Just before serving, spoon the yogurt mixture on to dessert dishes, top with the brittle, and scatter the remaining 1/2 cup berries around the edges.
Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.