Don’t be intimidated by the French name, this is essentially a ‘grapefruit brûlée’ which tops delicious winter citrus with a fresh lemon curd. The result is a surprisingly light and healthy dessert that still feels gratifying and is perfect for when you’re looking for a dessert that’s not too sweet yet bursting with flavours.
‘Chaud Froid’ literally means ‘Hot Cold’ and that’s what so special about this dessert – its success lies in the contrast between the cold grapefruit and the hot custard, a zingy mix that’ll wake up all your taste buds! It’s relatively quick to throw together and you can even prepare the various parts ahead of time so all you’ll have to do before serving is assemble and ‘torch’ or broil the brûlées.
Chaud Froid de Pamplemousse au RomarinAdapted from The Art of Living According to Joe Beef Total time: 45 minutes Makes 4 servings Curd ½ cup (100g) sugar 1½ teaspoons cornstarch 6 tablespoons (90ml) fresh lemon juice 1 egg, separated 1 whole egg Grated zest of 1 lemon ¼ cup (55g) unsalted butter, diced°F Syrup ¼ cup (50g) sugar 2½ tablespoons water 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary 4 pink or white grapefruits
To make the curd, in a bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in the lemon juice, egg yolk, and whole egg, mixing well. (Reserve the egg white for later.) Strain through a sieve into a bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and butter.
Pour the mixture into a thick-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat, stirring constantly, including into the corners of the pot – until the mixture reaches 185°F (84°C). You will notice it starting to bubble along the sides of the pan.
When you see the bubbles, immediately transfer it to a bowl and refrigerate it.
Rinse the saucepan so you can use it for the syrup. Add the sugar and water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the rosemary, and allow to infuse for 5 minutes. Strain syrup through a sieve and set aside.
Peel the grapefruits, keeping the segments whole and tidy (Google for a video if you don’t know how to do this).
In a small bowl, whisk the reserved egg white until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Get out your blowtorch, or preheat your broiler. Set out 4 broiler-proof plates or individual gratin dishes. Put a grapefruit’s worth of segments on each plate, arranging them side by side. Drizzle one tablespoon of the rosemary syrup over each portion of grapefruit segments.
Gently fold the egg white into the curd…
…then spoon the curd evenly over the grapefruit portions.
Run the torch over the curd topping until nice and caramelized, or put the plates or dishes on a rimmed baking sheet and slip under the broiler for a minute or two. Remember the top should be hot but not the bottom. That’s chaud froid! Serve right away.