Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How To Make Classic Creme Brûlée

how to make classic creme brulee recipe
Classic Creme Brûlée is made from just four ingredients, heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla; resulting in a rich custard topped with a layer of hard caramel. Also known as burnt cream, crema catalina or Trinity cream, Creme Brûlée is a dessert guaranteed to impress your guests. It is surprisingly simple to make and once you've tried making it yours, you may never be tempted to order this treat at a fancy restaurant again.

While my sister was visiting us last weekend, she brought along her kitchen torch and introduced me to the creamy awesomeness that is homemade creme brûlée. If you do not have a kitchen torch or do not care to purchase one, the sugar can also be caramelized in the oven. (Directions are included below.)

I can't believe it took me so long to finally make creme brûlée at home. This turned out to be one of the easiest desserts I've ever made!

Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée
Yield: 6 - 8 servings *
(printable recipe)

4 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla beans, split and scraped
1 cup sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine heavy cream and vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Let cool 15 minutes and remove vanilla bean. Whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. (Reserve the remaining sugar.) Gradually pour the sugary egg mixture into the warm cream. Whisk to combine and then pour into oven proof individual serving dishes.*

Place the filled dishes into an oven safe pan and fill with water to about halfway up the sides of each dish. Place on the middle oven rack and bake for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the very hot pan of water from the oven and let cool 10 minutes before transferring the custard dishes to the refrigerator to chill.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours and as long as 3 days. When ready to caramelize, set the dishes on a heat resistant surface and let them warm for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle each dish with about 1 tablespoon of sugar and then use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar. A good technique is to go over the top of the dish until most of the sugar has melted, then let that cool while you repeat with the other dishes. Then finish each dish with a second torching.  Don't be afraid of slightly burning the tops, make sure you get the sugar good and bubbling. (If you do not have a kitchen torch and don't plan to purchase one, here's a link with tips for caramelizing the top with the broiler in the oven.) Chill the finished creme brûlée once again until ready to serve. Enjoy!

* The number of servings will be determined by the size and number of dishes.

how to make classic creme brulee recipe

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  1. I've always wanted to make this, I even have a torch that I'm a little afraid of. Will have to try now. Thanks!

  2. I'd love to make this --- I bought a cheapo torch that never worked, so I need to go out and get a real one...I love the creamy look of this!

  3. This is one dessert I've never made, and always order at a restaurant. I think it's the torch that keeps me from trying. I'll have to give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I made creme brulee like 20 times when I first got my kitchen torch.. lol.. it is so much fun to make, and of course, as you said, sooo easy!! Unfortunately, I haven't made it in a while... think I might need to make it for a treat this weekend!

  5. This recipe is awesome! I was so excited to try another Creme Brûlée recipe because you've got such good recipes on this site. I have made Creme Brûlée in the past which has turned out with a more cheesecake texture than the creamy custard I was looking for. Not this recipe. It's so easy and the result is the perfect creamy texture and taste that I was looking for all along. My husband said it tasted similar to vanilla ice cream. I will definitely be adding this to my recipe box as a keeper. Thanks so much Mary for this wonderful website!!! I can always count on you for great recipes.

  6. This is one of my fave desserts. I'm a sucker for custard every. time. But I use a burly blow torch to caramelize the top because I'm married to Mr. No-Unitaskers!

  7. Creme brulee is one of my favorite. Yours looks perfect.

  8. Any recommendations on how to make coffee creme brulee? I tasted once at a restaurant in san diego n was in love! !! Thank you

  9. I just made this for two friends and myself, we LOVED IT. Because there were only three of us I halved the recipe and it actually yielded enough for four (medium to large) portions, but we didn't mind eating a little extra :)