A Simple Creme Brulee — 3.5 out of 5 stars

A year or two ago, a friend gave me a Creme Brulee Set.  It contained the ramekins, a baking dish, and a cooking torch.  (She actually had this set sitting in her cabinet, and just never used it!  What a strange woman…)  I enjoy the set, and have made creme brulee a couple times before with it.  I always use some fancy recipe I find on the Food Network or something.  For a recent dinner party, I really didn’t feel like going through the effort of looking for another special creme brulee recipe, so I just used the recipe on the box.

It turned out pretty well.  First, the recipe went together rather easily…It took about 7+ minutes of constant stirring, but it was well worth it.  You definitely need to use a sieve, though, or your final product won’t be the best.  I’ve also found that if any bubbles appear on the top of brulee mixture after pouring into the ramekins, it’s best to spoon those off.  I also chose to put warm water in the water bath, instead of using room temperature water and letting the oven heat up the water.  Technically, a water bath isn’t necessary, but it really does help in allowing the mixture to cook slowly and evenly.  After cooling the baked product in the fridge, I bruleed the dessert in front of my guests…I love having people think I’m amazing.

The custard itself was very smooth, which is essential to a nice creme brulee.  The flavor of the creme brulee was rather mild; this was the only thing I didn’t like about the recipe.  I think next time, I’ll add extra vanilla extract, or perhaps a little almond extract for extravagence, and it will be fine. 

This recipe will definitely be made for future dinner parties.  And here is the recipe for you:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 Tbsp and 1 tsp sugar
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions (makes 4, 6 oz ramekins)

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.  Prepare some boiling water
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and sugar.  Cook, stirring occassionally until small bubbles appear around edges of pan, 5-6 minutes.  Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until smooth and light.  Pour hot cream mixture into egg yolks, a little at a time, beting continuously until well blended.  Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl.  Divide mixture among ramekins.
  4. Arrange raamekins in a baking pan and place on middle shelf of preheated oven.  Fill pan with boiling water to boiling water to halfway up sides of ramekins.  Cover pan loosely with aluminum foil.  Bake until custard is *just* set, about 35 minutes.  Chill 2-3 hours.
  5. Sprinkle with additional sugar, and use the torch to brulee.  Mmmmm!!

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