This classic Creme Brulee recipe is much easier to make homemade than you might think! Just grab a blow torch and follow this step-by-step recipe for delicious results.
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade)
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 8 large egg yolks
- pinch of salt
- sugar-coated fresh berries, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil. Arrange 8 (5 ounce) ramekins in a large baking dish, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, scrape the black seeds out of the vanilla bean and place in a medium saucepan with heavy cream, and stir to combine Heat over medium heat until simmering, but not boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to blend your egg yolks, ¾ cup sugar and salt for about 1 minute on medium speed until light and smooth. Add about 1/4 cup of the cream mixture to the eggs, whisking immediately to combine and temper the eggs. Repeat. Then add the remaining cream mixture, whisking while combining so as not to cook the eggs.
- Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer to remove vanilla beans and any bits of egg that may have cooked. Then portion the remaining custard into the ramekins so that they are each nearly full.
- Place the baking dish full of ramekins in the oven, then pour the boiling kettle full of water in the pan (careful to avoid the inside of the ramekins) until the water reaches 2/3 of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until the edges of the custard in the ramekins are set, and the centers are only very slightly jiggly. Carefully remove pan from oven. Then use a spatula or tongs to carefully transfer ramekins to a cooling rack. Let the custards come to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours until cool.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle the tops each custard evenly with 1-2 teaspoons of sugar. (Superfine sugar is preferable, but granulated sugar will work.) Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the top of each custard, holding the torch 2-3 inches from the top of the custard and slowly moving the flame back and forth across the surface until it is a deep amber color and bubbly. Let the custard rest for at least one minute. Then serve, topped with fresh berries that have been rolled in sugar, if desired.