Pressure Cooking: Crema Catalana (Spain’s Creme Brulee) by Laura Pazzaglia

Yesterday we had a fabulous guest post and introduction to pressure cooking by Laura from Hip Pressure Cooking. I was particularly surprised to learn that there are many different cooking methods that you can adopt when using your pressure cooker, such as braising, stewing and steam roasting. So, it’s not all about watery stews and scary noises!

This recipe in particular however, using the bain marie method, really intruiged me. Wouldn’t these be perfect to make for Valentine’s Day? Or just any day really…

Crema Catalana (Pressure Cooked)

As well as sharing her recipe, Laura has also put together this step-by-step photo collage (which I’m slightly in love with) making the process really easy to follow. If you do follow the trend and start pressure cooking yourself, don’t forget to let us know!

Crema Catalana – Spain’s Creme Brulee

Serves 6-10
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Meal type Dessert
Region Spanish
Website Hip Pressure Cooking


  • 500ml Fresh Cream
  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 80g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick (or 1 tsp cinnamon powder)
  • 1 Zested Orange (or zest of a lemon or clementine)
  • sprinkle Nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons demarera sugar


Additional Equipment: Vegetable Peeler, Small Saucepan, Fine-mesh strainer, Pourable container (about 3 cup capacity), Small Bowl, Aluminum Foil, Plastic Wrap/Clingfilm/Culinary Torch (optional) or Broiler/Grill


Step 1
Begin by heating up the cream, citrus zest and cinnamon stick on low heat stirring occasionally. When the cream begins to boil (foam) turn off the heat and let the ingredients infuse (about 30 minutes).

Step 2
In the meantime, prepare your pressure cooker by adding two cups of water, the trivet (if needed) and steamer basket.
Step 3
In a mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar, whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Then, when the cream has cooled to room temperature (it should feel neither hot nor cold when you stick your finger in it) add the yolks and stir with your whisk just enough to get everything mixed together well (do not whip).

Step 4
Next, pour the mixture slowly through a strainer into a spouted container (if you have one, it will make pouring the mixture into the cups or ramekins easy).

Step 5
Pour the mixture into ramekins, cover tightly with foil and arrange in steamer basket so that all are sitting straight (otherwise you will get a crooked diagonal crema). Lower the basket into the pressure cooker carefully, and if you still have some vertical space and extra cups, you can stack the additional cups on top in a second layer.
Step 6
Close and lock the pressure cooker. Turn the heat up to high and calculate 8 minutes cooking time for ramekins and only 5 minutes cooking time for espresso cups at LOW pressure
Step 7
When time is up, open the pressure cooker using the Natural Release method - move the cooker to cold burner and don't do anything and wait for the pressure to come down naturally. From the time you turn off the heat (or pressure cooking has finished for electric pressure cookers) count 10 minutes of cooking using the residual heat of the pressure cooker.

Step 8
Open the pressure cooker and carefully lift out the custards. Open the first and jiggle it a bit. It should be nearly solid, but not liquid (this means they have set)- they will solidify further when chilled. If they are still very liquid, pressure cook for an additional 5 minutes with the same opening procedure noted above.

Step 9
Remove the custards and leave to cool uncovered for about 30-45 minutes.
Step 10
Once the custards are cooled, cover them in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours or overnight
Step 11
Before serving, remove the custards from the refrigerator, grate a little nutmeg and sprinkle the top of the custard with a thin, even layer of sugar. Then, either melt the sugar with a culinary torch or slide them under the broiler in your oven to melt and caramellize the sugar.

Photographs and recipes are the property of and re-published with permission.
Many thanks to Laura for her guest post and for today’s recipe. Come back tomorrow for a quick and easy pressure cooked pasta dish!
Have you ever tried cooking using a pressure cooker? Have you had any triumphs or disasters?!


    • Ren says

      Yes me too, and I like that this one just has a sprinkle of sugar rather than a big thick later. The photos are awesome, Laura is very talented. x

  1. says

    Ren, thank you again for doing a 3-day special on pressure cooking. You have helped me to see the beauty of the step-by-step photos and I will try to feature them more prominently in my recipes instead of shoving them at the end!

    You are right… they tell a story of ease and simplicity – and that is as important as the “glamour” shot!!



    • Ren says

      Dear Laura, thank YOU so much! The step-by-step photos must take a long time to take and put together and it actually must make the process of cooking longer for you. They do say that all cookery books with step-by-step images are the longest and hardest ones to put together, so you are doing the job of a coookery book author on your blog with no extra help!

      I am really going to enjoy experimenting and if I come up with any recipes of my own I will send them to you! Thank you again, ciao!

  2. says

    Hahaha.. yes, they make the recipe take at least for times as long to make! If using veggies, for example, they have to be carefully chosen and cut. Since I don’t have a “fake kitchen studio” my real kitchen has to be spotless!!! Hard to do while in the middle of a shoot you need to cook lunch for the family or… if you step away for a second dear husband puts his empty coffee mug right in the middle of “the set”!!

    The “glamour” shot has to be set-up even before I start cooking because once the food is ready, it’s ready and you have to shoot it right away otherwise it looks “old” fast! Since all my custards usually need to chill they are the easiest to shoot because I make them one day and then I have the “whole” next day to photograph the finished product.

    I don’t to use any of those “professional” tricks (shoe polish, glycerne, other crazy stuff) because I want to eat the food. Hubby always gets the “display” plate, and sometimes my son will ask me to show him a photograph before I tell him what’s for dinner. Daughter is brutally honest with her limited 3-year old vocabulary.

    I once pulled a chocolate truffle out of the fridge for my son to taste and he said “yuck” after just one look. But after he saw the photo.. he asked to try it!

    The power of photography.



    • Ren says

      It’s exactly the same in my house, although there is usually food all over the place and lots of little hands poking in, but that’s all part of the fun! Pressure cooker at the ready!!! x

  3. says

    Hi Ren, and all.

    I want to caution everyone to check to see if they can select “High” and “Low” pressure before trying this recipe.

    I was heartbroken to read on Twitter that one of Ren’s followers had horrible “scrambled” eggs when trying to do this recipe in her “one pressure” cooker. HOWEVER, not all “one pressure” cookers cook at high pressure. Some may cook only at “Low” pressure. The only way to be sure is to check your Instruction Manual or flip over the bottom and match-up the Kpa, Bar or PSI to what is on this table:

    Feel free to email, facebook or tweet me if you need any pressure cooking question, answered!!!



    • Ren says

      Hi Laura, thanks for leaving a comment and for updating us! I think my pressure cooker has a low setting, so I will try it and see. Don’t worry, these things happen and I think pressure cooking takes some practice! x


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