There’s something about crème brûlée. Even the words sound fancy. It’s the sort of dish you expect to find at swanky French restaurants.
What if I told you that you could make crème brûlée at home? It’s true! And it tastes just as good as the ones at those fancy restaurants. All it takes is five simple ingredients – cream, vanilla, salt, egg and sugar.
Here is what you need to know to make this crème brûlée:
- You don’t need to own a kitchen torch to create the iconic crackly sugar top. This version offers two methods – with a kitchen torch or under the broiler. Both achieve the same result. But under the broiler, the crème brûlée comes out dark and caramelized. I call this the “Basque” version.
- Let the custard set for several hours in the fridge before brûléeing the top, or you will end up with soup custard. And no one likes soupy custard.
- Don’t use fancy sugar. I meant it when I said simple ingredients. Save the expensive, raw, organic sugars for something else. Regular white granulated sugar is all you need. The small granules caramelize quickly, meaning sugar won’t get overly burnt, and the pudding won’t melt when you apply the extra heat.
Vanilla Crème Brûlée
2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
5 eggs yolks
½ cups sugar plus more for topping
- Preheat the over to 325F. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Combine the cream and salt and cook over low heat until just hot. Let sit for the mixture sit for a few minutes, then add the vanilla.
- In a bowl, beat the yolks and sugar together until well blended and lightened in colour. Whisk about a quarter of the cream into the mixture, then pour the sugar-egg mix into the cream, whisking continuously. Pour the custard into four 6-ounce ramekins and place the ramekins in a large cake or roasting pan. Fill the pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to get any water into the ramekins—Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the centers are barely set. Remove the ramekins from the pan and let them cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
- When ready to serve, top each ramekin with a teaspoon of sugar in a thin, even layer.
If using a torch – Melt the sugar until it caramelizes and a crispy top forms. Allow the crème brûlée to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
If using the broiler – Place the ramekins 2 to 3 inches from the heat source, and turn on the broiler. Cook until the sugar melts and browns or even blackens a bit, about 5 minutes. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
If you make this recipe, consider tagging @chrissymeetsworld on Instagram.