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Recipe: Sweet Corn Crème Brûlée

This inventive twist on the classic comes from the executive pastry chef of NYC's db Bistro Moderne.
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Daniel Boulud’s sleek Midtown canteen, db Bistro Moderne, is best known for marrying the classic technique of bistro dishes with market-fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Helmed by executive chef Chris Stam, the current menu features dishes like steak frites with sweet corn and leek relish. For dessert, summer visitors to the Bistro can find executive pastry chef Tyler Verbiak’s classic Sacher torte served with roasted apricots, Tainori ganache and amaretto ice cream.

Falling in line with summer corn season, Verbiak puts a compelling twist on crème brûlée using sweet corn and serving it with sablé breton, cinnamon chantilly and blueberry-lemongrass sorbet.

Here’s how to make it at home.

RELATED: Ingredient Spotlight: Corn 

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Sweet Corn Crème Brûlée

Courtesy of Executive Pastry Chef Tyler Verbiak of db Bistro Moderne, New York City

Ingredients

For the Corn Crème Brûlée Base:
2,000 grams corn cream
1,250 grams cream
1,000 grams corn, lightly roasted
462 grams egg yolks
125 grams sugar
10 grams sorbitol
4 grams salt

For the Sablé Breton:
502 grams butter
502 grams sugar
250 grams egg yolks
701 grams all-purpose flour
42 grams baking powder
4 grams fleur de sel

For the Blueberry-Lemongrass Sorbet:
1168 grams water
105 grams lemongrass, smashed and roughly chopped
83 grams Super Gel
43 grams glucose powder
400 grams sugar
500 grams blueberry purée

For the Cinnamon Chantilly:
47 grams confectioners’ sugar
7 grams Ultratex
1 gram salt
1 gram ground cinnamon
945 grams cream

For the Glazed Blueberries:
450 grams water
450 grams sugar
75 grams blueberries

For the Salted Popcorn:
15 grams popcorn kernels
4 grams canola oil
1/2 gram salt

For Assembly:
12 grams sugar in the raw
Micro cilantro, 2 sprigs per plate

Method

1. Prepare the crème brûlée base: Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Blend the creams and corn together; strain through a chinois. Using an immersion blender, blend the egg yolks, sugar, sorbitol, and salt into the cream mixture. Pour mixture into ramekins. Place ramekins in a large roasting pan with sides. Fill the roasting pan with hot water until the water nearly reaches the tops of the ramekins. Bake until the crème brûlée is set, about 30 minutes. Let cool before covering and transferring to the refrigerator.

2. Prepare the sablé breton: Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment. Add in the yolks, scraping down the sides as necessary. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together; add them to the butter mixture and combine. Allow the batter to rest for 15 minutes before rolling the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch fluted round cutter, cut out rounds; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets at least 2 inches apart, and bake at 325˚F for 8 minutes.

3. Prepare the blueberry-lemongrass sorbet: Bring the water and lemongrass to a boil. Immediately blend. Strain the water and replenish with water to original weight before boiling again. Mix the dry ingredients together. Using an immersion blender, blend the dry ingredients and the blueberry puree into the lemongrass mixture. Freeze for several hours in the freezer, undisturbed.

4. Prepare the cinnamon chantilly: Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the cream and blend to desired consistency. Reserve over ice.

5. Prepare the glazed blueberries: Make a simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a pot over medium heat. Once at a boil, submerge blueberries in a hot syrup. Strain blueberries immediately and set aside.

6. Prepare the salted popcorn: Heat the oil in a saucepan with a lid. Add the popcorn kernels to the hot oil, cover, and cook, continually move to prevent burning, until fully popped. Add the salt and toss to combine.

7. To Serve: Place one ramekin on a plate. Sprinkle the raw sugar and torch to an even caramel color. While the sugar is bubbling, place two Breton cookies into the caramel. Pipe five kisses of cinnamon chantilly staggering across the cookies, leaving space in the middle for the quenelle of sorbet. In between and top of the kisses, place three glazed blueberries, two pieces of popcorn and two sprigs of micro cilantro. Scoop a quenelle of sorbet with the point facing the middle of the crème brûlée. Serve.

Image courtesy of db Bistro Moderne.

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