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Easy Crème Brûlée Recipe

This French delicacy is the perfect light and creamy dessert. It is served cold with a caramelized sugar crust on top.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Resting Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Equipment

  • Kitchen Torch
  • Small Pan
  • Medium Pan
  • Whisk
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • 6 oz Ramekins
  • 9x13 Baking Pan

Ingredients

  • 5 Eggs
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2.5 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil while you perform the next steps.
  • Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Discard of or save the whites. You will only use the yolks.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar. Set aside.
  • Use your knife to slice a line down the vanilla bean lengthwise, opening it up so you can see the seeds inside. Turn the knife over, and use the back of it to scrape the inside of the bean out until you have all of your vanilla seeds on the back of your knife. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the heavy whipping cream and salt over medium heat until it begins to bubble. As soon as it begins to bubble, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla seeds.
  • Once the vanilla seeds are incorporated, pour about ¼ cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks, whisking the egg yolks continually while doing so. Once incorporated, add another ½ cup of cream, stirring continuously. Then add more. Continue doing this until all cream is incorporated into the egg. This is now your custard mixture.
  • Fill 6, 6 oz ramekins to the top with the custard mixture.
  • Put the ramekins in a 9x13 baking dish. At this point, your water on the stove should be boiling. Add the water into the pan, bringing it about ½” up the side of the ramekins. Make sure not to get any water in the custard.
  • Bake until the edges are set and the centers are a little jiggly. Mine took about 40 minutes, but you can start checking them around 35 or so. They should be 170 degrees Fahrenheit internally when done.
  • Remove from the oven and then remove the ramekins from the water. Allow them to cool on a cooling rack for about an hour, then place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Right before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of granulated sugar on top of each ramekin.
  • Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar on top until it forms a crust (but does not burn)
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
 
  • Egg Yolks: You can use these tips to separate the whites from yolks
  • Sugar: I use white, granulated sugar 
  • Vanilla Bean: I would strongly recommend using a vanilla bean if possible, as it creates such a flavor difference! However, this might not always be accessible, in which case, about 2 tsp of vanilla should do the trick
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: You can also use normal cream if necessary
  • After separating the eggs, you can save the whites for plenty of things. This Easy Tiramisu Recipe is a good option. You can also make French Macarons with the egg whites as well. 
  • It is very important that you add only a little cream to the eggs at the beginning. If you add too much boiling cream to the eggs at once and don’t whisk correctly, the hot cream will cook and scramble the egg yolks in a bowl. To avoid this, you will be following the steps above to slowly warm up the egg yolks by adding a little cream at a time, a technique called tempering. 
  • When sprinkling the sugar on top of the ramekin, make sure not to leave any custard left uncovered. Torching the custard without a layer of sugar protection will cause the custard to curdle. 
  • This Easy Crème Brûlée Recipe, in my opinion, is best served with fresh fruit on top. I love serving it with raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries as a topping
  • After baking your custard, you can keep it in the fridge for up to three days before topping/torching it. This a great dessert to make ahead of time! 
  • If your sugar topping is burning easily, turn down the flame on your torch. You may need to wave the flame over the sugar, but if you see it is starting to burn, leave it alone (torch a different part of the ramekin) and come back in a second when the sugar has cooled down slightly.
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