I first made non-dairy crème brûlée using strictly coconut milk instead of my normal heavy cream so that my mother can eat it as she is moderately lactose intolerant. The final result turned out creamy; much better and tastier than I had imagined. The term "crab brulee" coined by our friend, Mark Broomer. Thank you, Mark!
I used 1 Tahitian vanilla pod. You may use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you prefer this over the beans.
Roe from 8-10 adult female live green crabs
8 large egg yolks
3 Tbsp white sugar (or according to your taste), plus 1 tsp white sugar
14 oz (400 mL) of coconut milk
1 vanilla pod
Boiling water (for bath)
Turbinado sugar (raw sugar), about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp per ramekin (or according to your taste and health)
Fresh berries to garnish if interested
Wash the female green crabs and drain. Remove the roe (eggs) and set aside. Rinse the roe and strain. Remove and discard any dark pieces or any non-roe bits. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the roe. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Boil water (this will be for the water bath), preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium size metal or glass bowl, whisk yolks and 3 tablespoons of white sugar together and set aside.
Shake the coconut milk can, open and pour it in a small pot. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape all the vanilla bean caviar (using the tip of a knife) and add these tiny beans and pod to the pot. Cook over medium high heat. Once the liquid starts to boil turn heat down to a simmer, stir occasionally for about 5 minutes.
Temper the cream and vanilla mixture initially a little at a time (about one ladle at a time) to the bowl with the yolks and sugar, while constantly whisking the contents.
Place 6 ramekins in a casserole dish. Divide each ramekin with the liquid (mixture). Divide the crab roe in each ramekin. Place the casserole dish with the filled ramekins inside the oven. Pour the hot bath water into the casserole dish about 1/3 up to the ramekins. Take care not to burn yourself or pour any water inside the ramekins.
Bake for about 40 minutes, remove the casserole dish and let them cool. Once done the top will resemble a custard instead of liquid.
When ready to eat, sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top of each ramekin and blow torch the top to caramelize the sugar. You may put the ramekins in the oven to broil (for a minute or two) and this will help caramelize the sugar. Keep a close eye on the ramekins while they are in the oven as the high heat will easily burn the sugar instead of caramelize it.
For any that you cannot eat right away you may wrap each ramekin in plastic and refrigerate.