October 18, 2009
Crème Brûlée


I love crème brûlée.

(I also love Amélie. Such a beautiful film.)

For the longest time, I was intimidated to try making it, though. Custards are notoriously testy, prone to curdling and becoming rubbery, and the recipes I studied involved all kinds of funky steps that I just didn’t know if I was prepared to attempt.

However, making crème brûlée is really, really easy. Much easier than making homemade pudding. You should try it.

Crème Brûlée

yields approximately 4 ramekins (20oz)

2 cup heavy cream
4 tbs sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 300° and set a large pot of water out to boil. Line the bottom of a deep pan with a damp cloth. You want the pan to be about as deep as your ramekins and, obviously, large enough to fit them all.

Combine the cream, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat 4-5 mins, or until the cream mixture starts to steam. This is pretty forgiving, I’ve let it simmer accidentally and the final product hasn’t been compromised.

Beat the egg yolks and vanilla together until smooth. I would really recommend you use your stand mixer for this, it will make adding the cream mixture much easier. Once the eggs are smooth, add the cream mixture to the bowl in a thin stream, beating constantly. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you need to add a little of the cream to the egg yolks and beat to temper them. Then pour the egg mixture back into the rest of the cream mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.

Place the ramekins into the pan on top of the towel and pour the custard into them. Place the pan in the oven, then pick up your pot of boiling water and pour into the pan until the water level is about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 25-30 mins or until set. You want the custard to be firm around the outside, but jiggly like jello in the middle. Cool in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator, blot any moisture from the tops, and sprinkle the custards with sugar. Turbinado is yummy, but white is just fine. You’re about the burn the crap out of it, so it doesn’t really matter.

If you have a kitchen torch, you know what to do. If you’re like me and torchless, turn your oven to broil and move your rack to the top. Once the elements are red hot, place the ramekins  underneath and watch constantly until the sugar begins to bubble. Both methods have their difficulties. With the torch, you’re more likely to catch the sugar on fire. With the broiler, you’re more likely to begin rebaking the custard an having it become overdone. I’ve yet to mess one up though, like I said, they’re very forgiving.

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One Response to “Crème Brûlée”

  1. Skye says:

    Thanks for the recipe…like you I have been mortified yet inexplicably tempted to try this seemingly intimidating recipe as it is my top priority comfort food, thanks for putting it simply and torchlessly LOL

    Wish me luck ~ will check back with results. Im off to buy ramekins! >>~~~~~~>>

    ~ Skye

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