Creme Brulee

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This is one of our favorite dessert recipes ever.  It’s both straightforward and fun to make, because who doesn’t like attacking their food with a blowtorch?

Baking note: You can bake the custards in a pan of hot water, which will make the surface come out smoother.  However, since you’re going to cover it with a layer of melted sugar anyway, this step seems unnecessarily complicated.

Original recipe

 

Creme Brulee
Adapted from All Recipes

Yield: 6 servings

For the custard:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • grated peel from 1 lemon (optional)

For the topping:

  • 4 tablespoons sugar

 

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.  Place 6 shallow heat-proof dishes on a baking sheet.
  2. Beat egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.
  3. Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to boil.
  4. Remove the cream from heat immediately and stir into the egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.
  5. Pour cream mixture into the top pan of a double boiler. Stir over simmering water until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes.  If desired, stir in grated lemon peel.
  6. Remove mixture from heat immediately and pour into dishes.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
  8. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  9. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons sugar evenly over the 6 dishes of custard.
  10. Oven method:
    Preheat oven to broil. 
    Place dishes under broiler until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn.

    Blowtorch method:
    Hold a blowtorch so the tip of the flame touches and melts the sugar.  Keep the flame moving over the surface so the sugar doesn’t burn.

  11. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  You can refrigerate the dishes to set the custard, but I usually eat it as soon as the sugar crust has hardened.  You can check this by tapping it lightly with a spoon.
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