Crème brûlée is a very popular dessert that you will find in almost every fine dining restaurant. The smooth creamy custard contrasts very nicely with the crunch of the hardened sugar topping. A delightful dessert that will impress your guests, crème brûlée is actually quite simple to make.
This recipe is the classic version of crème brûlée which has a very nice vanilla custard flavor. Fresh fruit is a very nice accompaniment.
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar + extra for sprinkling
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300° F. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, and 1/2 cup sugar. Cook while stirring until cream just begins to bubble (about 4-5 minutes).
- In a bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until well blended. Yolks will become a light yellow. Gradually pour the hot cream into yolks, stirring constantly. If the mixture looks a bit grainy, strain mixture through a sieve set over a bowl.
- Pour the custard into 8 6-oz ramekins (custard cups). Place ramekins in a baking dish and add hot water to fill pan halfway up the side of the ramekins.
- Bake until set, about 40-45 minutes, until custard is mostly firm but the centers of the custards shake gently when tapped. Remove from the oven and allow the ramekins to cool slightly.
- Remove the ramekins from the pan and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, sprinkle the custards with 2 teaspoons sugar and caramelize the topping by placing under the broiler until sugar is a golden brown (about 3 minutes). Watch carefully to not burn the sugar. Alternatively, use a hand-held propane or butane torch to caramelize the sugar.
Optional: Top finished custards with fresh berries, mango or peach slices, or other fresh fruit.
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