Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Crème Brûlée

Ok, let's be honest. Crème brûlée always makes me think of "My Best Friend's Wedding". I love that movie! There's a scene near the end where Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz are having a conversation, seemingly about dessert. Cameron Diaz's fiance has called off their wedding, and Julia Roberts is trying to explain to Cameron Diaz why. Roberts explains that Diaz's fiance is looking for a simple woman, for which she inexplicably uses "jello" as a metaphor. Roberts consoles Diaz that she is "crème brûlée", not "jello". Diaz sobs that she wants to be jello, but Roberts assures her that crème brûlée can never be jello.

I agree with Julia Roberts on this one. Crème brûlée can never be jello. Thank goodness, because crème brûlée is exceedingly heavenly. This is one of my favorite desserts, and it is the hubby's favorite dessert. I tried to be such a good wife on our anniversary, and make crème brûlée for dessert. The only problem? No cream on hand. I soldiered ahead, determined to sub milk for cream. Bad idea. I learned that you use cream for crème brûlée due to the fat content. I used milk and added an extra egg yolk for more fat, but to no avail. The crème brûlée never set, and was a runny, nasty mess.

Crème brûlée fail!
Well, you know me. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And I did. To be real people, this dessert sounds elegant and hard, but there's only 5 ingredients. It's actually a cinch to make. Try it peeps! This is a great skill to keep under your belt :)

Ingredients (makes 3 custards):

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean
5 egg yolks
3/8 cup sugar
Baking sugar


1. Preheat oven to 325º. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove.
2. Pour heavy cream into a pot. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into the cream, place pod in cream. Infuse cream over medium-high heat (heat over burner just until tiny bubbles appear around the edge of the cream). Remove from heat and allow to set for 15 minutes. Remove vanilla pod from cream, discard. Pour cream through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream egg yolks and sugar together for a few minutes until thick, pale yellow, and creamy. Slowly drizzle one cup of cream into eggs as you are whisking to temper the eggs. Slowly incorporate the rest of the cream. Pour mixture into a pourable container.
4. Place ramekins in a large, wide-sided pan. Divide cream mixture among ramekins. Place boiling water into a pourable container. Pour water into the wide-sided pan until water is halfway up the ramekins. Be careful not to get any water into the ramekins.
5. Carefully place water bath in the preheated oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until custards are just baked through. They are done when a slight jiggle of the pan doesn't jiggle the custard. Remove from oven. Using a large spatula, remove the custards from the water bath, and allow to cool on the counter for 30-60 minutes. Cover, then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
6. Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of baking sugar on top of the custard. Using a blowtorch, toast the top of the custard until it's brown and crispy. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.

*Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman*


  1. Only the best dessert on earth. Maybe that's where the expression "heaven on earth" came from. Sorry to bring religion into your blog. I'm SO ashamed.

    1. They are heavenly! Jerame is able to scarf them down in under 2 minutes :)

  2. I need to stop reading your posts at work because it makes our vending machine snacks unable to live up to this :)

    1. I can imagine the inadequacy the vending machine is feeling from being unable to provide creme brulee :)