Why do the tops of my creme brulee alway overcook?

I've tried multiple recipes now, following them precisely. My mixture is always smooth as a baby's butt pouring into the ramekins. But without fail, every single time, about 15 minutes into baking I can already see a rough, eggy looking texture developing on the surface. And sure enough, after 25-30 minutes, I've got a nice thin little omelette on top, even though the custard is still quite luiquidy underneath.

This happens regardless of the oven temp or the cooking time. I've tried 325, 300, and even 250. And every time, I can see the top starting to cook after only 10-15 minutes.

Also might be worth noting that I never get the trademark "jiggle." Instead, it always moves more like a cappuccino, as if there's just a layer of egg foam riding atop pure liquid.

What am I doing wrong?? Any help would be much appreciated.

Here's the main recipe I've been using:

5 yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1/8th tspn salt
1 vanilla bean

bring cream/salt/vanilla to simmer, let cool to below 165
beat eggs/sugar until pale-colored
slowly stir half the cream into eggs. let settle for 30 seconds.
slowly stir in the rest.
strain.
fill pan 1/2 way up ramekins with boiling water
fill ramekins 3/4 w/mixture
bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes

CookingNoob
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4 Comments

Liz D. May 30, 2020
The recipe I use calls for stirring the eggs & sugar together until just blended, not beating until pale... I wonder if you are beating air into the eggs, and those bubbles float to the top during baking and then bake faster than the rest of the mixture? That's the only thing I can see that's any different from what I do
 
CookingNoob May 30, 2020
Thanks for the suggestion! Interesting. I do notice that all of my creme brulee come out with some amount of bubbling (either tiny bubbles in the smoother ones, or big fat bubbles in the rougher ones.)

I'll try it out and see what happens.
 
CookingNoob May 30, 2020
Liz, you have saved my LIFE!! That's exactly what the problem was. My latest batch has come out perfectly smooth. I can't tell you how relieved I am. Thank you so much for the suggestion.

Now I have to go track down the recipe that told me to beat the eggs until pale so I can warn others!
 
Liz D. June 6, 2020
So glad it worked!
 
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