Crème Brûlée

By • February 21, 2011 • 5 Comments

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Author Notes: A very traditional - and wonderful desert. Exactly as it should be.Rogue Gourmet

Serves 6

  • 3 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • pinches salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 6 teaspoons demerara/turbinado sugar
  1. With the oven rack adjusted to its lower middle position, preheat the oven to 300° F (150°C). Fold a kitchen towel to cover the bottom of a large roasting pan and arrange 6 five-ounce (150 ml) ramekins on the towel. The ramekins should not touch each other, or the side of the roasting pan. If the roasting pan is not large enough, scale down the recipe.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups of the cream, the sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. With a paring knife, halve the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the saucepan. Submerge the pods in the cream. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove the saucepan from the heat and steep the mixture for 20 minutes to infuse the flavor.
  3. Meanwhile, separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a large bowl and storing the whites for another use. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. After the cream has steeped remove the pods and stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream to cool the mixture.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks until they are evenly combined. Add a cup of the cream mixture to the yolks and whisk until combined. Continue adding cups of cream and whisking until evenly colored. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a second bowl. Ladle the mixture into the 6 ramekins.
  5. Place the roasting pan onto the oven rack and pour in boiling water until it reaches 2/3 the height of the ramekins. Do not splash water into the ramekins. Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 170 to 175°F (77 to 79° C). At this time the centers of the custard should be barely set. The baking time depends upon the height of the ramekins. If shallow, start checking temperature at 30 minutes. Higher ramekins can take up to an hour to bake.
  6. Cool ramekins to room temperature on a wire rack. Place on a shallow tray, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Before serving, uncover the ramekins and soak up any condensation with paper toweling. Spread 1 teaspoon turbinado (Demarara) sugar on each, tilting and tapping to spread the sugar evenly. Spread sugar only on the number of ramekins that will be served. The others can be stored for several days in the refrigerator for later use.
  7. Ignite a propane blowtorch and caramelize the sugar on each ramekin. Take care to direct the flame away from any ignitable material. Avoid the miniature butane torch since its flame is not adequate for uniform caramelization in a reasonable amount of time. Re-chill the ramekins for not more than 45 minutes. A longer time leads to softening of the caramelized crust.
Jump to Comments (5)

Tags: Crème Brûlée, custard, pudding, traditional

Comments (5) Questions (0)

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

That is a nice looking brulee, I think you have caramelized the tops of a few by the looks of that one. Like the bean seeds in the bottom too.

Pizza-big

over 3 years ago Rogue Gourmet

Thanks thirschfeld. to tell the truth, I worked as a cook for years and have caramelized more brulees than you can shake a stick at. In this case the photo was taken by a photographer - not me. The addition of chocolate wasn't my idea.
I love vanilla. The idea that vanilla is is used to describe things that are plain never ceases to amaze me. Anyone who thinks vanilla is plain, has never held a vanilla pod - probably doesn't know if comes from an orchid... I could go on.

Pizza-big

over 3 years ago Rogue Gourmet

Thanks! - and you are right, there is nothing like a good creme brulee (and I must admit, I am quite partial to the traditional recipe, I have had chocolate creme brulee, cheesecake creme brulee, and other variations none of which, in my opinion match the original when it is done well.

I must admit, I often add two vanilla beans when I make this recipe :)

Headshot

over 3 years ago Cook the Story

There's nothing quite like creme brulee. Creamy and crisp all at once. I love the look of vanilla seeds in the picture too.

Phoenix

over 3 years ago Phoenix Helix

Beautiful photo! Makes me wish I could take a bite.