This is the tradition of the best known Catalan dessert

Catalan cream is surely the most typical dessert in Catalan cuisine. It is a pastry cream made by egg yolk base covered with a crunchy layer of caramelized sugar. This delight is eaten throughout the year, but it is especially typical on Saint Joseph’s day.

What is the origin of Catalan cream?

This dessert has a very old tradition. Catalan cream is considered an evolution of custard, which already existed in the Roman Republic, several centuries before Christ and is considered one of the oldest desserts in Europe. It appears in books of Catalan literature and has been present in medieval recipes since the 16th century.

Since then the recipe has hardly changed. The only variation in the ingredients of Catalan cream was the replacement of the starch from the typical recipe with cornmeal in the 20th century, and later, the appearance of specially prepared powders to make cream easier. Even so, many families and restaurants continue to make Catalan cream with egg yolk, in its most traditional version.

Regarding the way of preparation, traditionally a very hot iron plate is used to burn the sugar layer on the surface, although nowadays a kitchen torch is often used for it.

In its most classic presentation, it is accompanied by a small cookie cone that serves to break the caramel on top.

Catalan cream cakes and pies, Catalan cream ice cream, Catalan cream liqueur… it comes in every shape!

This cream is also used as a filling for ensaimadas, chuchos, cocas and all kinds of pastries. There is also the frozen version of this dessert.

Its flavor has also inspired and accompanied many other different products such as ice creams, nougats, liqueurs, foams, teas, and even perfumes!

How is homemade Catalan cream made?

We can’t leave without bringing you the best Catalan cream recipe. Follow this easy recipe to make Catalan cream for 6 people.

  • 1 liter of whole milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 100g sugar
  • 20g cornstarch
  • A little lemon rind
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon

To start you have to separate the yolk from the egg whites. You can also find separate yolks in some supermarkets. Then you to beat these yolks. After that, heat the milk in a pot with the lemon rinds and the cinnamon stick. Meanwhile you have to mix the sugar with the cornstarch in a bowl and then add the beaten yolks and mix everything well with a rod. Once the milk is boiling, add the mixture of yolks, sugar and cornstarch, passing it through a coarse strainer.

From here you have to stir the mixture over medium heat with a rod without stopping, preventing it from sticking until the mixture begins to boil.

Now all that’s left is to pour the mixture into individual saucepans and let them cool without covering. Then finally it will be time to cover the surfaces with a thin layer of sugar and burn them carefully with a kitchen torch until they are caramelized. Once it cools down it is ready to eat!

Do you prefer to follow the steps of the Catalan cream recipe with a video?

We leave you this video of an easy and delicious recipe for Catalan cream by Spain on a Fork.

Are you going to leave Barcelona without trying one of the best Catalan creams in our Terroir restaurant? Come for lunch or dinner and try the best known Catalan dessert and many other delights of Mediterranean food.