Vanilla Crème Brulée by Fred Berkmiller of l’escargot in Edinburgh

Provenance, sourcing and sustainability have always defined Fred Berkmiller’s style of cookery. For his restaurants, l’escargot bleu and l’escargot blanc in Edinburgh, Fred works with small-scale, local businesses, traditional producers and suppliers and he travels from Dumfriesshire to Barra and Shetland to meet the people who catch, raise, grow and harvest the produce he cooks with.

Outside of the l’escargot kitchens, Fred’s passion for the food and drink industry never falters. At every opportunity Fred works with renowned chefs and food and drink organisations to promote and defend Scotland’s natural larder.

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Fred has been named as a finalist in the Scottish Sourcing category for the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2017. Winners will be announced on Thursday 18th at the awards ceremony.

For the full finalists list visit

Ingredients: Serves 4

• 125ml whipping cream

• 125ml double cream or crème fraiche

• 2 vanilla pods cut length ways

• 6 egg yolks • 65g caster sugar

• 4 tsp. of Demerara sugar


1. Combine the cream in a pan and bring to the boil.

2. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pods and add to the cream. Remove the pan from the heat and let it infuse for a few minutes.

3. Whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar until thick and white.

4. Pour the cream into the egg mixture, whisking at all times.

5. Put the mixture back on the heat and cook for two minutes at a very low heat, stirring with a spatula at all times - make sure it doesn’t boil. Set aside.

6. Put four crème brulée dishes or ramekins into a deep ovenproof dish. Fill two thirds of the dish with hot water and place in a preheated oven at 100°C for 45 minutes or until set (don’t over cook or they will split.) 7. When cooked, take them out to cool then place in the fridge until needed.

8. Before serving, sprinkle the brulées with Demerara sugar and caramelise using a blowtorch or under a grill. A plumber torch will do the trick but start at low flame and burn with a very regular heat.

In association with Taste Communications.