Crème caramel with a lemon crumble topping and berries
A simple crème caramel is given an extra dimension with basil berries and a lemon crumble topping.
For the crème caramel
For the crumble topping
For the berries
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas Mark 1.
For the crème caramel, pour the milk into a saucepan. Scrape the vanilla pod with a knife and add the seeds and pod to the pan. Place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
Whisk the eggs and 100g/3½oz of the caster sugar together in a bowl. Strain the infused milk mixture into the eggs mixture. Stir until completely combined.
Heat 50ml/2fl oz water and the remaining sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook until the sugar melts into an amber caramel. Pour the caramel mixture into four ramekins that are 8cm/3¼in round and 3cm/1¼in deep.
Place the ramekins into a roasting dish and pour the milk mixture into the ramekins. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting dish until it is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Place the roasting dish in the oven and cook for 25–30 minutes, or until just set. There should be a slight wobble in each of the custard centres. Remove from the oven and set aside until completely cool. Keep the oven on.
For the crumble topping, place the flour and butter into a food mixer with a paddle attachment and mix until the mix looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar, salt and lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Mix in the egg yolk.
Roll the mixture out in between two sheets of baking paper to approximately 8–10mm in thickness. Remove the top sheet of paper. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, or until it just starts to colour. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
For the berries, mix the berries and basil together in a bowl and dust with the icing sugar.
Once cooled, turn the crème caramels out onto plates and spoon the berries around it. Crumble the shortbread over the top. Garnish with small basil leaves and serve.