Lavender Honey Crème Brulee

A little dried lavender goes a long way in this subtle, sumptuous dessert.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

 The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, built in 1923 as a country club and golf course, features gorgeous grounds and an award-winning spa. 

Photo by: Image courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Image courtesy of Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

 The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, built in 1923 as a country club and golf course, features gorgeous grounds and an award-winning spa. 

Seven types of lavender grow on the grounds of the gorgeous Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California: English, French, Spanish, sweet, 'Goodwin Creek Grey', 'Grosso' and 'Provence'. 

The English—which actually comes from Spain—is used in essential oils and perfumes. The French variety flowers in the winter. The Spanish is considered the most unique because of large purple bracts that grow out of the flower heads.  

'Goodwin Creek Grey' thrives indoors and the 'Grosso' holds up so well it’s often used in crafts. You’d think the sweet variety would be great for cooking, but it has a high menthol content. 'Provence' is best in the kitchen.

Though Calvin Yeap, executive pastry chef for the property, could walk out the kitchen door and pluck plenty of fresh herbs for his Lavender Honey Crème Brulee, he sources a high-quality, food-grade version that comes dried.

“It’s more concentrated, allowing us to use only a small amount to capture the essence and create a delicate, fragrant flavor,” he says.

Lavender Honey Crème Brulee

Courtesy of Calvin Yeap, executive pastry chef, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Yields 4 servings

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried lavender
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Sugar in the Raw for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Meanwhile, bring cream and milk to a boil in a stainless steel pot. Add the dried lavender and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to infuse for 10 minutes or until it has the desired lavender flavor. In a separate bowl, combine yolks, sugar and honey. Whisk until mixed. 

Strain lavender liquid into the yolk, sugar and honey mixture, throwing away the lavender. Whisk until fully incorporated. Divide into four ramekins and set inside a large casserole dish. Place the dish in the center of the oven. Fill it with hot water without getting any into the ramekins. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the crème brulee is set. 

Remove the casserole dish from the oven, being careful not to get any water into the ramekins. If water gets in, remove it by placing a corner of a paper towel in the bowl to absorb. 

Cool for 10 minutes on the counter before removing from the casserole dish. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 

Sprinkle Sugar in the Raw on top and use a blow torch to brulee, using a circular motion. You can also set your oven to broil, place the brulees on a cookie sheet and position them on the top rack with the door open. Check often and rotate for an even caramelized top. 

Decorate with fresh berries and serve. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden

Have some extra space in your yard or garden? Plant a fresh and simple herb garden only steps away from the kitchen.

How to Plant an Herb Container Garden

Herbs have been grown all over the world for centuries for their flavor and healthful benefits. Learn how to plant an herb container garden.

Family Planting: Herb Border

A herb garden is a feature the whole family can enjoy.

How to Plant a Mini Herb Garden for Your Porch

Skip the dried, store-bought herbs and pick yours straight from your own miniature portable garden.

Pruning Lavender Plants

Learn about pruning lavender, including tips on when to prune.

Planting Lavender

Learn about planting lavender, including tips on when to plant by region.

How to Plant an Herb Bed

Forget your spice cabinet, and grow your very own herbs with this step-by-step planting guide.

How to Preserve Your Garden Herbs

Follow these simple steps for making your herb garden last.