Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Delicious Creme Brulee

 Happy 2013!  We are celebrating with a quaint little meal this New Year's Eve. The rest of the family didn't want to be around me anyway since my sister and I picked up some sort of nasty little cold bug over the holidays. My sister gave me some vanilla beans (yum) and a kitchen torch for Christmas so you know what that means, yep...creme brulee! If you have never made this before, now is the time! I divided the recipe into 3 parts because it's easier for me to keep track of the steps that way. I hope it helps in case this is the first time you've made it.
Start with:
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, cut it down the middle and scrape out the insides
1/3 cup sugar
Egg Mixture:
5 egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 c sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar

  • Before you start, you will need 4 ramekins (little glass oven-proof containers) for your creme brulee and a small kitchen torch for the caramelized topping. 
  • Preheat your oven to 300F.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, vanilla bean and insides, and 1/3 cup sugar. Stir together over medium heat. Heat until small bubbles form on the sides of the pan but don't boil the mixture. It took mine about 8 minutes and I kept stirring the entire time.
  • Once your mixture is done, remove from the heat and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  • While this is cooling, use a mixing bowl to whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Now comes the tricky part, you will need to temper your eggs which means you will add a small amount of the cream mixture to the whisked egg yolk mixture. Start with about a 1/4 cup of the cream mixture and pour it into the egg yolks, keep whisking as you add the cream. Continue to add small amounts of the cream until it's all mixed in with the egg yolks.
  • I used a fine screened strainer and poured the mixture through the strainer into a 4 cup glass measuring cup. This will remove any extra pieces of vanilla bean or other items that we don't want in our creme brulee. 
  • I had a little foam on the top of my mixture so I removed it with a spoon. Pour liquid evenly into 4 ramekins.

  • I used a 9x13 inch cake pan and placed my ramekins in that. Carefully pour water into your baking pan but don't get any water in your ramekins. Your water should come about halfway up the outside of your ramekins.
  • Carefully place pan in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Mine took 40 minutes. You want them a little jiggly in the center, but mostly set.
  • Carefully remove the ramekins from the baking pan and set on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. 
  • Cover the tops with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator. You want them to cool at least 2 hours before you prepare the tops.
  • For the topping, sprinkle about 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar over the top of each ramekin. It should cover the top. Using a kitchen torch hold the flame and move it in a circular motion about 1-2 inches from the top. It's easier if you start in the middle and work toward the edges. The sugar will bubble and caramelize on the top. I like mine lightly caramelized but you can caramelize it more if you want.

  • Let it sit for 5 minutes and enjoy your creme brulee!
~ Simply Tammi

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