Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Crème Sainte-Anne (St. Anne's Cream)

This coming Sunday, July 26th, is the feast of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and patron of homemakers.

I have always loved Saint Anne and choose her as one of my Confirmation name saints. Since her feast day is coming up I have been looking for various ways to celebrate this year and I am anxiously awaiting to see what else Charlotte has to suggest!

When I was looking through Cooking With the Saints I noticed it had a couple different recipes in honor of St. Anne: one for Crème Sainte-Anne (St. Anne's Cream) and one for Anna Torte (Gâteau Sainte-Anne). The Crème Sainte-Anne looked delicious and seemed quite similar to flan, which my husband loves and I am terrified to make after my disastrous last attempt! So, I decided to give it a trial run to see if I would be able to pull it off for her feast.

The recipe ended up being fairly easy and turned out delicious. I really liked the flavor that the macaroons added. I plan to double the recipe when I make it again on her feast.

Crème Sainte-Anne
(St. Anne's Cream)

1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
1/4 c. macaroons, crushed
1 1/14 c. milk
1 egg
3 egg yolks

Butter 4 ramekins. Put half the sugar in a pan and moisten with 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a boil and cook to amber caramel. Pour the caramel into 4 ramekins, to make a thin layer in each, and allow to set.

(I don't think I cooked the sugar quite long enough since it never turned to a caramel color -- next time I think I may try cooking it longer or reduce the water. Any suggestions??)

Place a thin slice of butter on the caramel in each ramekin and sprinkle each with the chopped macaroons.

Heat the milk to the simmering point. Whisk the egg, egg yolks and remaining sugar until creamy. Beat in the hot milk and pour into the prepared ramekins. The macaroons will float to the top.

Stand the ramekins in a tray of simmering water that comes halfway up their sides. Bake in a moderate oven at 325°F (160°C) for 20 to 25 minutes until set. Allow to cool, loosen edges and turn out onto a plate.

(I baked mine for 28 minutes and it could have still used a few more minutes... I am sure this varies depending on your oven, but mine usually tends to bake hotter/ quicker so you may need to increase the baking time.)

Serves 4.

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  1. Thanks for posting this!! Does Cooking with the Saints give a reason why this recipe may be associated with St. Anne, out of curiosity?

    Today my four year old and I worked together on a "St. Anne Scrapbook" based on the photo box idea from Charlotte. Since it is her "nameday," we are preparing our celebration little by little this week.

  2. It says that it is "an old French recipe from Brittany, where St. Anne is venerated as a patron saint."

    Happy nameday to your daughter!!

  3. I made this yesterday and it came out very, very tasty! At least, I thought so... my 4 yr old politely commented after a bite or two, "I think this dessert is a little too interesting fro a kid like me." Oh well, more for me, ha ha!

    About the sugar... what I did was use Sucanat (a natural sweetener typically used as a sub for brown sugar). Since it is already brown, it did not turn a caramel color because I guess it already was a caramel color! It was very watery still when I poured it into the ramekins, but it set a bit (though not enough... I was impatient, and so the macaroon pieces stuck to it rather than floating to the top - oops). When it was done and I inverted it onto a plate, the sugary part was again very runny and just made a brown, liquid sugary syrup on the top and that spilled down onto the plate. There is a photo of it on my blog.

    It was really easy to make, and my husband and I enjoyed it, and the 1 year old even took a few bites too!