Crème Brulee! This is one of my all time favorite desserts. Chilled creamy custard is topped by a hard crunchy sugar crust. Serve with some fresh berries and garnish with mint. Yes – there are a lot of steps, but it’s SO worth it. I’ve made this three times now, and this recipe has not failed me yet!
- 4 cups chilled heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
- 12 large egg yolks
- 8-12 tsps turbinado or demerara sugar (these are coarser sugars, but you can certainly use regular granulated sugar)
- Set oven to 300 degrees and set a pot of water to boil over high heat.
- Combine 2 cups of the cream, sugar and salt in saucepan
- Add vanilla seeds including the pod and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to ensure sugar dissolves
- Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes to infuse flavors
- Place kitchen towel in bottom of large baking dish or roasting pan and arrange eight 4 or 5 oz ramekins on towel.
- After vanilla has steeped, stir in remaining 2 cups cream to cool mixture.
- Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk in about 1 cup of the cream mixture, repeat with cups of the cream mixture until all evenly combined
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher or clean bowl (discard solids from strainer)
- Pour or ladle mixture into ramekins
- Now pour the boiling water into the dish holding the ramekins – taking care not to splash water into the ramekins and cream mixture – until water is about 2/3 of the way up the outside of ramekins
- Bake about 30-35 until the centers of custards are just barely set – an instant read thermometer should register 170-175 degrees at this point
- Transfer to a wire rack and cool at room temperature for 2 hours
- Once cool, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, 4 hours or up to 4 days.
- Uncover when ready to serve – remove any condensation that may have formed with a paper towel – and sprinkle each dish with 1 tsp sugar. Shake a little to distribute sugar evenly on top of custard.
- Ignite torch and caramelize the sugar.
- Ready to serve or return to refrigerator for no more than 45 minutes
- Garnish with fresh berries
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