The combination of hard, caramelized sugar atop velvety-smooth, chilled custard is the undeniable draw to this traditional crème brulee recipe. It is a wonderful make-ahead dessert for dinner parties, and guests will love cracking the brittle sugar tops with their spoons. This crème brulee recipe is for purists, as it contains only a touch of vanilla, and no novelty flavorings.
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup half and half (light cream)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How to make creme brulee:
Preheat the oven to 300F. Arrange 6 custard cups in a large pan with sides at least 1 1/2 inches deep.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until they turn frothy and bright yellow. Slowly whisk 1/3 cup sugar, the creams, and vanilla extract into the beaten eggs. Beat the mixture for 90 seconds.
Pour the eggs and cream through a medium-mesh sieve into a large (4 cup) liquid measuring cup.
Divide the mixture between 6 custard cups and fill the large pan with hot water half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake the custard in the hot-water bath for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until the custard is set, but still moves a bit in the center when jiggled. Cool the custard in the water bath for 20 minutes, and then refrigerate them until they are chilled.
Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar over tops of the custards and caramelize the sugar with a small, handheld kitchen torch. Serve immediately.
This classic crème brulee recipe makes 6 servings.