How To Make Crème Brûlée

Creme brulee
Dorling Kindersley: Charlotte Tolhurst / Getty Images
  • 01 of 10

    How to Make Crème Brûlée

    Separating egg yolk
    Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

    How to Make Crème Brûlée

    You can also check out this Crème Brûlée Recipe.

    To begin with, Pre-heat your oven to 300°F.

    We'll be using the yolks of 8 extra large eggs. To separate an egg, crack the egg and pull the shell apart into two equal-sized halves. Then, with a clean bowl underneath, simply shift the yolk back and forth from one half of the shell to the other, letting the whites fall into the bowl below. Collect the yolks in a large mixing bowl.

    Save the egg whites to make a high-protein,...MORE low-fat omelet, a meringue or, for the stout of heart, a soufflé.

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  • 02 of 10

    Beat the Yolks Until Smooth

    Beating eggs
    Dorling Kindersley: Charlotte Tolhurst / Getty Images

    Using a whisk, beat the yolks for a minute or two, or until they're completely smooth.

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  • 03 of 10

    Add the Sugar

    How To Make Creme Brulee - Tutorial With Photos - Step 3: Add the Sugar
    Add the Sugar. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    Now add 1/3 cup sugar and continue to whisk for about 2 more minutes, or until the sugar is fully incorporated and the yolks are a pale shade of yellow.

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  • 04 of 10

    Add Pure Vanilla Extract

    How To Make Creme Brulee - Tutorial With Photos - Step 4: Add Pure Vanilla Extract
    Add Pure Vanilla Extract. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    Add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract and whisk until blended.

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  • 05 of 10

    Add the Cream

    How To Make Creme Brulee - Tutorial With Photos - Step 5: Add the Cream
    Add the Cream. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    For this recipe, we need 2 cups of cream. I like to use 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of half and half. For a richer crème brûlée, use 2 cups heavy cream, or to make it a bit lighter, use 2 cups of half and half.

    Add the cream and whisk until fully blended.

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  • 06 of 10

    Strain the Custard Mixture

    How To Make Creme Brulee - Tutorial With Photos - Step 6: Strain the Custard Mixture
    Strain the Custard Mixture. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    Straining the custard filters out any eggy bits to ensure a nice, smooth consistency. Carefully pour the custard through a wire strainer (known as a sieve).

    Here's a tip: rinse any egg particles out of the sieve with cold water before washing it. Hot water will cook the egg particles into the wire mesh, making it really difficult to clean.

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  • 07 of 10

    Set Up a Water Bath

    Bain marie
    Baking creme brulee in a bain-marie. Steve Cohen / Getty Images

    Fill a large roasting pan with an inch or two of warm water, and place your empty ramekins into the pan. This water bath is called a bain-marie. The water should come about halfway up the ramekins. Baking the custards in a bain-marie keeps the air in the oven moist, and prevents the crème brûlées from cracking.

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  • 08 of 10

    Pour the Custard Into the Ramekins and Bake

    How To Make Creme Brulee - Tutorial With Photos - Step 8: Pour the Custard Into the Ramekins
    Pour the Custard Into the Ramekins and Bake. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    Carefully pour the custard into the ramekins. Fill all the ramekins about halfway, then top up each one a little at a time. That way, you won't run out of custard before they're all full.

    Now transfer the roasting pan ​to the oven. You're going to have to hold it steady so that you don't slosh water into the ramekins.

    Bake for 35 minutes or until the edges are set but the centers just barely jiggle when you nudge the pan.

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  • 09 of 10

    Cool In Water Bath

    How To Make Creme Brulee - Tutorial With Photos - Step 9: Cool In Water Bath
    Cool In Water Bath. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    Remove the pan from the oven and allow the custards to cool in the water bath for 30 minutes or so. Then remove the ramekins, place them on a flat sheet pan or tray, cover with plastic and chill for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.

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  • 10 of 10

    Prepare To Caramelize

    How To Make Creme Brulee - Tutorial With Photos - Step 10: Prepare To Caramelize
    Prepare To Caramelize. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    About 20 minutes before you're ready to caramelize the tops, remove the crème brûlées from the refrigerator.

    To see how we finish this classic dessert, check out part 2 of this tutorial, How to Caramelize Crème Brûlée!