Make Your Own: Classic Crème Brûlée
Sometimes, when Autumn arrives and nights begin to draw in – a certain nip in the air that wasn't there a few weeks back – all we want to do is sit in our PJs in front of the TV with a big bowl of warm custard. For some reason, a bowl of custard isn't seen as an appropriate dessert for a grown adult – but scorch the top and give it a French name and it's suddenly all sophisticated!
Enter: The ultimate Crème Brûlée.
All you need for this creamy, smooth, custard dessert is eggs, sugar, heavy cream and vanilla bean/extract, 15 minutes of your time and the oven and the fridge will do the rest of ‘heavy lifting’. Now get to it, you know you want to...
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 6-8 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp vanilla extract or seeds of 1 vanilla pod
For Caramelized Crust:
How to make the Creme Brûlée:
Turn oven to 325F.
Line a baking sheet with tall sides (glass baking dish or turkey roasting dish works well) with 2 layers of paper towel or 1 layer of kitchen towel, set aside.
Place the empty ramekins inside the baking dish.
Fill a tea kettle with water and allow to come to a boil.
To Make the Creme Brûlée Mixture
Add the heavy cream to a large sauce pot and allow to come to a simmer. If using the vanilla seeds add them right now.
Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow color.
Pour the hot heavy cream into the egg yolk/sugar mixture in a thin stream, while continuously whisking to prevent the egg yolks from curdling. If using the vanilla extract add it to the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the ramekins. This is best done using a pitcher.
To Bake & Chill
Put the baking dish with filled ramekins onto the middle rack of the hot oven and pour the hot water around the ramekins until it comes halfway up to the sides. Loosely cover with foil.
Slide the baking rack back inside the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Then, remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until thoroughly chilled.
Within 30 minutes, sprinkle the tops with 1 tsp of sugar and shake around until it covers the surface. Now using a torch caramelize the top.
To caramelize the top:
Hold the ramekin in one hand at a 45 degree angle with the blow torch in another hand. Go over the sugar with the blow torch in circles, rotating the ramekin which will allow the sugar to caramelize the whole surface and make an even layer of the sugar crust.