Citrus Infused Crème Brulee With Fennel-Anise Churro

“This is an enchanting little treat that is rich but also refreshing,” says Peter Turso, executive chef of Ursino in Union. “We use local organic eggs and fresh cream to get great results. Rather than add juice to this custard we make a puree of kumquats which adds an intensity of flavor and does not “water down” the custard.”

Executive chef Peter Turso burning sage to flavor sea bass with its smoke.
Photo by David Michael Howarth.

“The star anise and fennel seed dusting on the churros compliment the citrus. You will need ramekins that are oven safe, as well as a set up to deep fry, which includes a deep pot and approximately 2 quarts of oil.”


The Kumquat Puree


1 pint kumquats


½ cup orange juice freshly squeezed


¼ cup late harvest riesling


2 tbsp. simple syrup




1) Wash, cut in half and de-seed the kumquats.


2) Combine in small sauce pot with all other ingredients.


3) Bring to a boil and reduce until almost all liquid is evaporated.


4) Transfer to blender and purée until smooth.


5) Reserve.


Custard Base


1 qt. heavy cream locally produced


9 organic egg yolks


1 vanilla bean halved


6.5 oz sugar


1 pinch kosher salt


1 cup plus 2 tbsp kumquat puree




1) Split vanilla bean and combine it in a medium sauce pot with the cream, half the sugar and the kosher salt.


2) In a separate bowl, combine the yolks and the rest of the sugar. Stir until combined.


3) Cook the cream until it just comes to a simmer.


With a ladle, temper some of the hot cream into the yolks while stirring. Continue tempering until 1/3rd of the mixture is tempered in.


4) Pour tempered egg mixture into pot of cream and stir.


5) Add the kumquat puree and stir until dissolved and incorporated well.


6) Divide the mixture into 8 ramekins that are oven safe.


7) Place ramekins into a casserole or roasting pan and pour very hot water 1/3 up the level of the ramekins.


8) Bake at 300f until the custard is just set. Carefully remove and cool in refrigerator.




1pt milk


2 cups cake flour


1 tsp.sugar


2 tsp. baking powder


2 tsp. salt


3 star anise clusters


2 tsp. fennel seeds


¼ cup granulated sugar




1) Heat the milk to a boil with sugar, salt


2 In a bowl combine the flour and baking powder and mix.


3) Once to a boil, pour the hot milk over the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth.


4) Transfer the mix to a pastry bag with a large star tip and set aside


5) toast star anise and fennel seeds lightly in an oven.


6) Grind in a spice grinder to a fine dust.


7) Combine with the ¼ cup of sugar and set aside.


Final Assembly


Pre heat roughly 2 quarts of fry oil to 350 in a thick-bottomed pot. Remove crème brulee from the refrigerator and sprinkle top with raw sugar. Using a blowtorch, caramelize the sugar to a dark brown uniformity. When the oil is heated to 350, use the pastry bag to extrude 7” batons of the churro batter above the oil. Using scissors, cut to length and allow to drop into the oil. Fry the churros until they are golden brown, remove and immediately toss with the anise fennel sugar. To finalize plating, place a crème brulée on each plate, garnish with a churro and a sprig of cilantro.  


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