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Classic Crème Brûlée

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Shutterstock

A classic dessert; its name is French for "burnt cream."

Prepare ahead:

The custards, without the topping, can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Makes6 servings

Preparation Time20 min

Preparation Time - Text20 mins, plus standing

Cooking Time40 min

Cooking Time - Text40

Cooking Methodbaking, broiling

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Moodblue, romantic

Taste and Texturecreamy, crisp, sweet

Type of Dishdessert

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup demerara sugar, or use more granulated sugar
  • Six 6 oz (175g) ramekins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F (140°C). Heat the cream and vanilla bean in a saucepan over low heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour.

  2. Using the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cream. Discard the bean or save for another use. Whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar together in a bowl. Whisk in the cream mixture. Strain through a wire sieve into a glass measuring cup. Pour equal amounts into six 6 oz (175ml) ramekins. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides.

  3. Bake until the custards are barely set, about 40 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the pan and cool. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours.

  4. To serve, position a broiler rack 6 in (15cm) from the source of heat and preheat the broiler. Sprinkle 2 tsp demerara sugar evenly over the top of each custard. Broil until the sugar caramelizes. Serve immediately.

  5. Variations:

  6. Fruit Brûlée:

  7. Put a spoonful of soft berries or cooked fruit (apricots, rhubarb) in the bottom of each ramekin before adding the custard.

  8. Ginger Brûlée:

  9. Replace the vanilla pod with 3 tbsp minced stem ginger in syrup.

  10. Chcocolate Brûlée

  11. Omit the vanilla. Add 3½ oz (100g) grated white or dark chocolate to the hot milk and stir until melted.

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