Apricot Creme Brulee

The difficulty – and success – in this recipe lies in constant checking of the baking custard. Lower the temperature to 140°C on your first batch if you are unsure what will work for you, and never allow the heat to exceed 150°C.
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Images from The Great New Zealand Baking Book copyright © Lottie Hedley

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Meal Type:
Prep Time:
15 - 30 mins
Cooking Time:
30 - 60 mins
3 - 4
Michael Coughlin


  • 100 g dried apricots
  • 100 ml hot water
  • 100 g Pams caster sugar
  • 150 ml orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 500 ml Pams cream
  • 5 g vanilla paste
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 160 g Pams caster sugar


  1. Slice apricots thinly and place in a pot with remaining filling ingredients.
  2. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, cover and stand for approx. 2 hours, until apricots have softened and plumped up.
  3. Purée until smooth and set aside.
  4. To make brûlée, place cream and vanilla in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium-high heat and bring to just below boiling point.
  5. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
  6. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 60 grams of sugar until well blended and just starting to lighten in colour.
  7. Add vanilla cream mixture a little at a time, stirring constantly.
  8. Pre-heat oven to 150°C. Divide puréed apricots between four 220 ml ramekins, then carefully ladle in the custard. Place ramekins in a large cake tin or roasting pan.
  9. Pour enough hot water into the tin/pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the tin/pan with tinfoil and bake until the custard is just set but still trembling in the centre – approx. 45–50 minutes.
  10. Remove ramekins from the tin/pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (up to 3 days).
  11. To serve, place a dessertspoonful of the remaining caster sugar evenly on top of each custard. Using a blowtorch, melt sugar to form a crispy top. Allow crème brûlées to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
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