Japanese-born Takashi Yagihashi is the owner of Slurping Turtle, located in Chicago and Ann Arbor, Michigan. The James Beard Award winner, who has competed on Top Chef Masters and Top Chef Duels, expands upon the idea of the Japanese tea ceremony in this recipe by adding green tea to crème caramel. A dusting of cinnamon, a spice traditional in Japanese cuisine, adds a seasonal spin. Traditionalists will offer this alongside a selection of pies, but this might become your go-to dessert at dinner parties.
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 4 cups whole milk
- 5 green tea bags
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 jumbo eggs plus 1 jumbo egg white Cinnamon, to taste
Combine 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup of water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over high heat. When caramel becomes light brown, shock pot in ice bath to stop cooking process. When cool, divide caramel into 8 6-ounce ramekins. Refrigerate until custard is finished.
Preheat oven to 300˚F. Combine milk and tea bags in large saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Add remaining sugar and vanilla. Remove from heat. Let cool to 160˚F and discard tea bags.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs and egg white. Whisk lightly.
Little by little, temper milk into eggs until well incorporated. Pour custard into ramekins. Bake in water bath for about 30 minutes until set. Let cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Serves 8.
“I like the citrus aromas and lemon-lime flavors that contrast nicely with the sweet dessert. The acidity adds a refreshing touch.” —Takashi Yagihashi, chef and owner, Slurping Turtle