I’m not sure this recipe is worthy of some drawn out story or explanation. Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a nice creme brulee, no matter how bad it might be for you. And if you ever find yourself in that circumstance, I’m here to help.
Maybe I’ll take that first statement back, just a little bit. No long story about how either of my parents or any grandparents made creme brulee for me, they never did, but I do want to discuss at least one important aspect of this recipe that took me years to figure out.
Most recipes that you find online require you to heat the cream up first, in a saucepan on the stove, before assembling your final mixture and pouring into ramekins.
No thanks, that doesn’t work for me.
First, every single time I’ve tried that method, heating up the whipping cream and tempering your eggs first, has resulted in a creme brulee that didn’t set, just ended up thin and runny. No good.
And second, why would I go through the hassle of including several extra steps, and dirtying up an extra pot if it is all unnecessary and I have a recipe that works every time without that extra step? I wouldn’t and I don’t.
I first got this recipe from one of the many Cook’s Illustrated books, but after misplacing my copy and trying to find the same recipe online, I realized that they had several variations floating around out there, making it difficult to remember which one had worked best and which ones failed.
But I remember now, which is why I’m finally adding this recipe to my blog. No, it’s not healthy, at all. And no, there are about zero dietary considerations to make when deciding to make this at home, other than whether or not you and your family will enjoy the treat. Right, it’s just a treat, not an every week kind of thing, right?
This recipe comes together so quickly, because you get to skip all of that preheating, that it is easy to make the very same day you want to serve it. You can ever start in the afternoon, that’s how easy it is!
The one step that I believe to absolutely critical to the whole recipe is pouring the mixture through as fine a sieve as you have on hand. Your vanilla bean specs will still pass through, adding a nice flavor and appearance, but you’ll pull out the nasty piece of egg that hold the white and yolk together.
Ok, one more important step… the water bath. Similar to my cheesecake recipe, you want to cook this custard very slowly and evenly, and having water surrounding each ramekin really ensures a great final product.
Silky Smooth Creme Brulee
- water bath
- 6 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla paste
- 1.5 cups whipping cream
- 6 tsp brown sugar
- preheat the oven 325 degrees
- separate six eggs, whisk the yolks together and set the whites aside
- slowly whisk the sugar into the eggs until fully dissolved
- slowly whisk in the cream and vanilla paste until completely mixed
- pour entire mixture through fine sieve into container good for pouring
- pour mixture into ramekins, place ramekins inside baking pan and fill the pan with hot water until 3/4 up the sides of the ramekins
- carefully place baking tray with ramekins and water into pre-heated oven and bake for about 45 – 60 minutes or until just set, or between 170-175 degrees F
- remove tray from oven and let cool on stove or counter for 30 minutes, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least two hours
- when ready to serve, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon brown sugar on top of the custard and torch until the sugar melts and starts to darken, but don't burn it!
- wait a few minutes so you don't burn your mouth, and then serve!