Fruit Cake Brûlée with Caramelised Blood Oranges

Fruit cake makes an unusual base for these creamy, crunchy-topped brûlées from Maria Elia - caramelised oranges are the perfect accompaniment
By Maria Elia
Fruit Cake Brûlée with Caramelised Blood Oranges
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 10
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 3 hrs chilling time
  • Effort: medium


  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 750 ml double cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 250 g fruit cakes, diced
  • 5 tbsp demerara sugar

For the oranges

  • 5 blood oranges
  • 200 g demerara sugar
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 5 cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 150 ml red wine


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Split the vanilla pods along their length, scrape out the seeds and put the seeds and pods in a saucepan with the milk. Heat to just below boiling point.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar till thick and pale.

3. Remove the vanilla pods and pour the hot cream over the egg mixture, whisking continuously.

4. Divide the diced fruit cake between 10 individual ramekins and pour the brulee mix over the top.

5. Line a roasting tin with a tea towel. Stand the ramekins in the tin. Pour hot water three quarters of the way up the side of the ramekins. Cover with foil and cook for about 30 minutes, until almost set. Remove from water and cool.

6. Refrigerate for about 3 hours.

7. Meanwhile, peel the oranges and cut them 1cm thick slices.

8. Heat the sugar in a large frying pan and add the spices. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and is a golden caramel colour.

9. Toss in the orange slices. Cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.

10. Add the wine.

11. Heat for a further minute. Remove the oranges with a slotted spoon and arrange in a dish. Bubble the wine mixture until thick and syrupy. Leave to cool and spoon over the oranges. Chill until ready to serve.

12. Just before serving, sprinkle the brûlées evenly with demerara sugar and blast with a blowtorch, until the sugar is golden and caramelised. Serve with the chilled blood oranges.

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