Citrus and Cinnamon Crema Catalana
3 1/2 cups milk
1 lemon, peeled with a vegetable peeler
1 orange, peeled with a vegetable peeler
4 cinnamon sticks
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Bring milk to a boil with the lemon peel, orange peel and cinnamon sticks. Simmer slowly 2 minutes, turn off heat and let steep 1 hour. Strain milk and discard peel and cinnamon sticks.
With a whisk, ribbon the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Beat in the cornstarch. Stir in a few tablespoons of the hot milk, then add the egg yolk mixture to the rest of the milk.
Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth, 5 minutes. Pour the custard into 8 crema Catalana ramekins, about 5-inches across, 1-inch deep and 5-ounces in capacity. Cool and then refrigerate.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with a large pinch nutmeg. Before serving, sprinkle each custard evenly with 1 tablespoon sugar/nutmeg. To caramelize the sugar, use a hot metal "branding iron" which is smaller than the width of the dessert dish. Caramelize the sugar until it has melted completely and a hard golden brown crust.
Serve immediately. The sugar will stay hard for 30 minutes.