A deliciously simple recipe for crème brûlée with the sharp and sweet tang of passionfruit, served with honey and thyme shortbread. And if you've ever ignored this recipe because you don't have a blowtorch to make the perfect caramelised top... then look no further. We have a cheat for you!
Preheat the oven to 140°C.
Halve and juice the passion fruits, leaving two halves to one side to garnish. Squeeze the lemons to create enough juice to add to the passion fruit juice to create 175ml in total. Stir in the vanilla sugar and mix to dissolve, then beat in the eggs and cream until fully combined but don’t whisk to prevent it being too airy.
Pour the mixture through a sieve into a jug. Divide between 6 ramekins and place into a roasting tin lined with a clean tea towel. Boil a kettle and pour into the roasting tin to soak into the tea towel and half fill the tin.
Bake for 30 minutes until the cream is set, but with a slight wobble. Remove from the tin and leave to cool at room temperature before setting in the fridge. Turn the oven temperature up to 180°C.
Rub the butter into the flour in a bowl for the shortbread and stir through the sugar. Crack in the egg and squeeze in the honey, then combine into one dough. Roll the dough out between two sheets of greaseproof and leave to chill in the fridge.
Dump the caster sugar in a frying pan and splash in a little water then heat to dissolve the sugar and turn it into a light caramel. (Do not stir, just swill the pan from time to time). Transfer the caramel, as soon as it begins to turn colour, onto a silicon mat and leave to cool.
Cut the chilled, rolled shortbread into small fluted rounds and lay on a baking paper lined sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 6 minutes, before leaving to cool on the tray.
Blitz up the cooled and set caramel in a food processor to create a crumb. Heat a grill to high. Sprinkle a layer of the crumb onto the set crème brûlée and place under the grill for 30 seconds to just re-melt the sugar.
Leave to set up again at room temperature and serve with fresh fruit and a slice of the reserved passion fruit. Makes 6