Pink grapefruit adds zest appeal to this classic French
crowd-pleaser, with a shot of liqueur for a winning final
300 gmcaster sugar300 mlmilk3eggs1egg yolk1 tspvanilla extract20 mlGrand Marnier1ruby grapefruit, segmentedGrapefruit tuiles1eggwhite50 gmcaster sugar25 gmplain flour½ tspvanilla extract25 gmbutter, melted and cooledFinelygrated rind of ½ ruby grapefruit
For grapefruit tuiles, preheat oven to 220C. Whisk eggwhite in a bowl until stiff peaks form (1-2 minutes), add sugar and whisk to soft peaks (2-3 minutes). Fold in remaining ingredients, then spoon heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture onto baking trays lined with baking paper, leaving 5cm between each. Spread evenly into 10cm-diameter rounds using an offset palette knife or the back of a spoon and bake until golden around the edges (2-3 minutes). Working quickly, while tuiles are still warm and soft, place each over a rolling pin or the handle of a wooden spoon to shape, then set aside on a tray until completely cool and crisp (3-5 minutes). Makes 12 tuiles; store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Reduce oven to 140C. Stir 140gm sugar and 60ml water in a saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar, then boil, without stirring but brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, over medium-high heat until dark caramel (10-12 minutes). Pour into a 15cm-diameter, 1-litre ovenproof dish, or shallow bowl. Carefully swirl so caramel coats the base and sides, then stand to cool (15-20 minutes).
Whisk milk, eggs, yolk, vanilla, Grand Marnier and remaining sugar in a bowl until just combined. Refrigerate for air bubbles to settle (20 minutes), then strain through a sieve into the caramel-coated dish. Place dish in a roasting pan lined with a tea towel (this insulates the dish and prevents it rattling), pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides, cover the dish with foil and bake until set but with still a slight wobble in the centre (1¼-1½ hours). Remove dish from water bath, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled (1-2 hours).
Carefully run a small knife around the edge of the dish to loosen crème caramel, then place a serving plate on top and invert. Serve topped with grapefruit segments and grapefruit tuiles.