RECIPES: Sweet treats for summer from Chef Eddie Castillo

Crème Brûlée
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
Servings: 6

4 cups Heavy Cream

1 whole Vanilla Bean OR 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
8 Large Egg Yolks
3/4 cup Sugar for topping

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Pour the cream into the saucepan. Add vanilla (whichever product you're using) and simmer over medium-low heat.
Whip egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow and thick.
Strain cream using a fine mesh strainer.
Whip yolks while you very slowly drizzle in 1 cup of warm cream. Go slowly so as not to cook the eggs! Once the first cup is added, you can add the rest of the cream slowly.
Place ramekins onto a rimmed baking sheet. Pour custard mixture into ramekins. Pour water in bottom of baking sheet until it comes halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes, or until just set. Do not allow to get brown.
Cool ramekins on countertop, then chill for at least 2-3 hours, covered in plastic wrap.
To serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon over each ramekin of custard. Use a kitchen torch to quickly (but carefully) brown the sugar. There should be a thin, crisp surface of burned sugar on the top.
Serve immediately!

Fresh Peach Tarts

Makes 8 Peach Tartlets
    2 tbsp butter
    3 large peaches, halved, pitted, each half cut into 4 pieces (24 slices 
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/8 tsp cinnamon
    1/8 tsp ground ginger
    1/8 tsp allspice
    1 box (15-oz) ready-to-use piecrust (2 sheets)
    1 egg, beaten plus 1 tsp water 
Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. When the butter foams, add the peaches, sugar, and spices. Cook, turning the peaches once, until the sugar melts and begins to caramelize. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and let cool to room temp. 
Unroll the piecrust and using a large ring cutter (4 1/2-inch), cut 8 circles. Place them on a silicon lined baking sheet. Brush each circle with the egg wash. Go around each circle and fold over about 1/2-inch of the edge to form a crust, pressing with your finger tips to seal. 
Place 3 slices of peach in the center of each tartlet. Drizzle a little bit of the peach syrup over the peaches on each tartlet. The rim formed around each will keep the liquid from spilling out. 
Brush the edges of the tartlets with egg wash and sprinkle a little sugar over each. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F. oven for 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown, and the pie dough is cooked. Serve warm or room temperature.

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