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Passion Fruit Creme Brulee


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Been having trouble making a passionfruit creme brulee turn out. I will say that I am not a pastry chef or anything but I do occasional dessert work and have never had trouble with creme brulees not setting up before. I feel that I am a pretty accomplished cook/chef and am getting frustruated with this thing.

Here is my recipe...

1 qt heavy cream

1 qt whole milk

12 oz sugar

14 Egg yolks

2 whole eggs

1/2 vanilla bean

1 cup passionfruit puree (concentrated "Perfect Puree" brand)

So, this is a double recipe of a recipe I used to do a test batch...the test batch was the same recipe cut in half (obviously) with the exception that I didn't use whole eggs, just 8 egg yolks. I followed standard custard procedure...scalding, temering, baking covered in a water bath, etc. I added the puree after the custard was tempered.

The test batch did not turn out. The flavor was great but the custard was fully cooked but not set, even when cooled completely. So I thought maybe I should use a whole egg or two to help stabalize and set up the custard.

So made another batch using the above recipe. Cooked off a couple as a tester...still did not work. So, I thought maybe my ration of eggs/cream was off (which I think it is) so I added 7 more yolks and 1 more whole egg to the remaining batch, and cooked off a few more. They still did not work. The custard is just barely not set but I surely don't need more than 24 eggs do I?

Does the passionfruit puree add something to the equation that I am not accounting for? Too much acid interferes with protein coagulation? Something?

I'm getting pretty frustruated with this whole thing and am hoping someone has some ideas. Thanks in advance for the help.


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My guess is that your liquid to egg ratio is off.

If it were me, I would just cut out the milk altogether and use

cream and the puree. Or use 1 and a half qts of cream and the puree.

Anyway, that seems like a lot of liquid to eggs, regardless.

I agree with that. I've found that all cream works better in brulee. Also, I made a plum brulee before, and found that with the added puree, I had to up the yolks to get it to set properly. Usual recipe of 2 c cream & 4 yolks, I needed 12 yolks with the amount of plum puree I added. Passion Fruit is a lot stronger flavored, especially the Perfect Puree concentrate. So, you may not need as many.

Here is the recipe from Perfect Puree. They have more yolks and a lot less liquid than your original recipe.

Yield 18 6-oz ramekins

32 oz. heavy cream

2 vanilla beans, split

16 large egg yolks

2 large whole eggs

1 3/4 cups sugar

6 oz. Passion Fruit Concentrate, thawed

Preheat oven to 325° Bring the heavy cream and vanilla beans to a simmer. Steep for 1/2 an hour.

Whisk together the egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar. Bring the heavy cream back to a boil.

Temper the cream into the eggs.

Strain then add the Passion Fruit Concentrate.

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For what it's worth, the Perfect Puree is a concentrate not a juice; and any time I've used a concentrate in place of juice (pomegranate comes immediately to mind, as well as the blood orange) I have trouble with things not setting up.

My personal favorite for passion juice is Albert Uster's; they are now using Caraman brand which isn't as great as their old label but still really good.

If you decide to ditch the whole baking thing, you can do a stove top version from Roland Mesnier's Dessert University book. It's basically a variation of pastry cream (cornstarch and sugar, which is not typical for creme brulee) and you would add the concentrate at the end with the butter; I think this method is fine for making a creme brulee tart (where you put the filling in a tart shell not a ramekin) but it is not the same as a baked custard. It's good, nonetheless.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I found my brulee's got much better when I went the half cream (hot) half milk ( cold/rm temp.)

I also cover the dishes or rather the the pan holding the dishes /water.

If you have a dependable oven @ 350 they'll be ready in 45 min.

Maybe add a sheet of gelatin as I think you have a point about acidity.

I was looking at a French recipe and the amount of sugar that was used weighed as much as the passion fruit used.

The yolks weighed about 20 grams more

Good luck to you.


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  • 3 weeks later...

i just made some brulees and had trouble with them not setting up either

my vanilla recipe is like this

4 yolks

1 cup cream

1/4 cup sugar

1-2 tsp vanilla

i've gone with 1/2 cup cream + 1/2 cup guava puree (pulp + sugar) and its setup fine...but i tried the subbing the guava with passion fruit and it didnt set up in the middle as it should have =/


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