Low-Fat Almond Crème Brûlée

Low-Fat Almond Crème Brûlée Large Image


It’s true- it’s possible to make crème brûlée low-fat, surprisingly! I wouldn’t have thought so, but even this famous custard dessert can be edited into an equally delicious but far healthier version. None of those I served this to had guessed at its lower fat, and all deemed it authentic. It’s simple, but the almond taste kicks in towards the end and adds a nice flavour. I tried all three types of sugars (powdered, granulated, brown) and found powdered to be by far the best (as goes its reputation). The brown sugar burned too easily; the granulated sugar became too wet; the powdered, however, was just right.

Low-Fat Almond Crème Brûlée

Ingredients (makes 8 small, flat custards):

  • 1 tblspn almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup organic skim milk
  • 1 & 1/4 cup organic half-and-half 
  • 1 egg (yolk + white)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tblspn granulated sugar
  • 8 tsp powdered sugar
  • 8 raspberries + sprigs of mint (for garnish)



  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Scald the milk and cream by placing in a small, tall pot and boiling. Add vanilla extract, remove from heat as soon as it begins to bubble, and set aside.
  3. Beat together the other ingredients (almond extract, sugar, eggs) until well mixed together.
  4. Add a bit of the milk mixture to the egg mixture and slowly stir together; then add the rest of the milk in small batches, slowly whisking the mixture together. If there are any pieces of yolk/sugar, strain through a wire strainer.
  5. Place the ramekins in a large pyrex dish or baking dish, not touching the sides.
  6. Pour the mixture slowly and evenly into the ramekins (8, flat, or 4-6 souffle ramekins), being very careful not to spill
  7. Pour water into the pyrex dish, making a bain-marie, and carefully place in the oven. Bake the custards for 30 minutes if flat, 35-40 minutes if taller- try wiggling them to see if they’re ready (if wiggling like jello, then they’re set!)
  8. Remove from bain-marie water onto a heat-safe surface. To eat these in the ‘traditional’ way, sprinkle powdered sugar onto the tops and torch until the top is caramelized but not burnt. As an alternative, once cool enough to handle, chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the fridge, then sprinkle on sugar and torch.
  9. To garnish, top with fresh raspberry and a sprig of mint, or other fresh fruit.

I’ve been told that if you haven’t a torch, you can use the broiler setting in the oven and place it directly under the heat, but mine was unsuccessful with this. That said, the lovely torch my friend B gifted me for my birthday worked out perfectly :) These were delicious, and tasted rich despite the lack of rich ingredients. Success! A low-fat alternative that’s well-hidden within great, full flavour.

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