Classic Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée is also known as burnt cream, crema catalana or Trinity cream.

Classic Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée is also known as burnt cream, crema catalana or Trinity cream. 
Consisting of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel it is normally served cold.  Crème Brûlée is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but it is sometimes flavored with lemon or orange zest.  The earliest known Crème Brûlée appeared in François Massialot's cookbook written in 1691.  Wherever Crème Brûlée got its start and whatever it is called I know one thing for sure I love this dessert.


1 Quart Heavy Cream

1 Split & Scraped Vanilla Bean

1 Cup Vanilla Sugar (Divided)

6 Large Egg Yolks

2 Quarts Hot Water

Preheat your oven to 325° F.  In a medium saucepan pour the cream and add the vanilla bean and its scraped contents.  Cook over a medium high heat and bring it to a boil.  Remove from the heat and cover with a lid.  It will need to sit for 15
minutes.  Take out the vanilla bean and either throw it away or save for another use. In a medium size bowl whisk together the egg yolks and ½ cup of the
sugar.  Make sure that the sugar and egg yolks are well blended and just begin to lighten in color.  Add the cream a little bit at a time making sure to stir constantly.  Pour into six 8 ounce ramekins.  Put the ramekins into a large roasting pan.  Pour the hot water into the roasting pan just until it hits halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes just until the Crème Brûlée is set, but still a bit wobbly in the center.  Remove the ramekins from the pan
and put into the refrigerator for 3 hours. When you are ready to serve take out
of the fridge at least 30 minutes before browning the sugar on the top.  Take the left over ½ cup of vanilla sugar and divide equally among the 6 ramekins. 
Spread evenly on top.  Using a torch melt the sugar to form a crispy top. 
If you do not have a torch then you can use the broiler.  Before serving let the Crème Brûlée sit for 5 minutes.  Serves 6

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Glen K Dunbar June 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Thanks Vickie. I try. I LOVE your recipes too.
Emily Constance June 18, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I love this dessert so, so much! Now I just have to see if I can trust myself with a torch.
LeeM June 24, 2012 at 02:46 PM
If you use a broiler to brown the sugar, place the custard dish/dishes in a larger pan filled with ice. That way the custard stays cold when the sugar is heated, the final product is cold custard and a hot crust!
Victoria Hart Glavin June 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Excellent tip Lee!
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