2000s Recipes + Menus

Avocado Crème Brûlée

Serves4 (dessert)
  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:45 min (includes cooling)
May 2009
Treating avocados as a fruit is a trick Brazilians have used at their dessert tables for ages. So, if you’re smart, you’ll serve this sophisticated, sexy take on crème brûlée at your next dinner party, with the hopes that your guests’ clothing will fall off, too, Rio-style. In any event, you’ll know you’re serving the best dessert this side of Rio. (Editors’ note: This recipe is solely the creation of Ian Knauer and has not been formally tested by the Test Kitchen.).)

Watch the Test Kitchen Challenge video that features this recipe.
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (2-inch-long) strip lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 ripe 6- to 8-oz avocados
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 8 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • equipment:

    4 (5-ounce) ramekins; a small blowtorch
  • Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a small heavy saucepan using tip of a paring knife, then add cream, zest, and a pinch of salt. Heat cream mixture over low heat until hot, then transfer to a bowl set in an ice bath. Chill completely, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove vanilla pod and zest.
  • While cream mixture chills, pit and peel whole avocado, then purée in a food processor with 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
  • Beat cream with 2 Tbsp sugar using an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Fold in avocado purée. Cut remaining avocado half into 1/3-inch dice, then fold into avocado mousse.
  • Divide mousse among ramekins, then cover each ramekin with plastic wrap. Chill until cold, about 20 minutes.
  • Just before serving, remove plastic wrap and sprinkle 2 tsp sugar evenly over top of each ramekin. Move blowtorch flame evenly back and forth just above sugar until sugar is caramelized and slightly browned. Let stand 2 minutes before serving.
Subscribe to Gourmet