Crème Brulée

A friend from out of town was visiting the other day so I decided I’d make her favorite dessert — crème brulée.

Making crème brulée is widely considered to be something that is difficult to make and easy to mess up. I have not found that to be the case if you follow the simple instructions carefully.

You will need:
  •9 egg yolks
  •¾ cup superfine white sugar
  •1 quart heavy cream
  •1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  •additional 6 tbsp. superfine white sugar

Whisk the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar together in a large bowl (big enough to hold the egg/sugar mixture and quart of cream) until the mixture is creamy.

Preheat oven to 325°.

Put the cream and vanilla in a medium sauce pan and heat over med-low heat. Bring it to a simmer, but be careful not to let it boil as it will foam up and spill over the top of the pan.

Once the vanilla and cream mixture reaches a simmer, remove it from the heat and very slowly pour it into the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar, quickly whisking the yolks as the cream is slowly poured in. This is known as tempering. If the hot vanilla cream is poured into the egg yolk mixture too fast, or if the whisking isn’t constant, the heat from the cream can cook the egg yolks, giving you sweet, lumpy scrambled eggs. Do not want.

The tempering can be made easier if you have a helper to do either the pouring or the whisking. Using a sauce pan that has a pouring spout will also make the task a lot easier.

Place six 6-10 ounce ramekins in a roasting pan and evenly divide the custard amongst them. They should be about three quarters full.

Fill the roasting pan with water until the water level is about half way up the outside of the ramekins, but not so full that you won’t be able to put it in the oven without spilling. Place the ramekin filled roasting pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake at 325° for 40 minutes until the custard has barely set around the edges.

Remove the pan from the oven, being careful not so spill any of the hot water on yourself, and put the ramekins on a cooling rack. I have found that an easy way to get the hot ramekins out of the scalding water is to use a sturdy metal spatula and oven mitts.

Let the custard cool to about room temperature then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I often make these the day before and leave them in the fridge overnight (covered with plastic wrap) until just before they are needed.

After the custard has chilled and right before they will be eaten, dump a tablespoon of superfine sugar on top of each and shake the ramekin to evenly distribute the sugar over the surface of the custard. Using a kitchen torch, melt and brown the sugar until it forms a nice caramel colored crust. It will bubble and smoke a little, as the sugar caramelizes.

Garnish with fresh berries and/or whipped cream and serve immediately.

Eat and enjoy :)

~ by peeancefreeance on November 28, 2010.

One Response to “Crème Brulée”

  1. You know I’ve never tried Creme Brulee, but I might as well take the plunge. Great shots of the process..

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