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Pistachio Crème Brûlèe with Dates
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There's nothing better than cracking the top of a crème brûlée - and finding pistachios and a sticky date layer at the bottom is an extra treat. Make these the day before to allow them to set, then caramelise the tops before serving.
If you haven't made custard before, here's a tip to prevent it from curdling: add 3 teaspoons of cornflour to the eggs and sugar before adding the hot cream.
You can caramelise the topping 1-2 hours in advance and chill, it will remain crisp. Don't be tempted to do this the night before because the sugar will liquefy into a thin caramel sauce and seep down the sides like a crème caramel.
Unsalted pistachio nuts can be found in the fruit and vegetable section
If you're short of time, serve Waitrose Raspberry Crème Brûlée instead. You'll find it in the dairy chiller cabinet.
Use a cook's blowtorch or preheat the grill to the highest setting. Cover the custards with the remaining sugar, then place the baking tray with the custards about 5cm away from the grill or use a cook's blowtorch for 2-3 minutes until the sugar turns golden and caramelised. Serve.
This recipe was first published in November 2003.