After learning how easy crème brûlée is, you’ll never want to spend that $10 on dessert when you dine out. All crème brûlée is, is cream, egg yolks, vanilla beans, and sugar. That easy and yet we all still pay $8-10 for it when we dine out. What a ripoff! I know dining out is a ripoff already but we all need some time away from the kitchen every now and then! I have a feeling restaurants play off the whole “crème brûlée” as sounding fancy and upscale so they overcharge for it. No more! Once you buy yourself some ramekins, a kitchen torch (they’re VERY fun), and butane, you yourself can make crème brûlée at home and be all fancy Nancy :)
The recipe below makes roughly 4-5 (depending on how many ounces your ramekins are) regular sized crème brûlées. This recipe is easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled — however much you need to feed your party!
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1/2 a vanilla bean
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Have a saucepan of boiling water ready.
- In a small saucepan, add the cream and vanilla bean paste, stir to mix and set the pan over medium-low heat.
- Warm the cream until bubbles form around the edges and steam begins to rise to the surface.
- Remove from heat and let steep for 15-20 minutes.
- While the cream mixture is steeping, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, salt, and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow. This will take about 5 minutes of heavy whisking -- however, I must warn you that using a whisk makes it really airy and bubbly so use a fork with this process. When using the fork, don't whisk in circles (creating more air), instead, keep the fork low and move it fast back and forth.
- Once the mixture is pale yellow, gradually pour the cream into the egg mixture, stirring until blended.
- Divide the custard among the ramekins and place the ramekins on a baking pan.
- Pull out the middle rack of the oven and place your baking pan on top. Then very carefully, pour boiling water to fill the pan almost halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Cover the pan loosely with foil and slowly push the rack back into the oven.
- Bake until the custards are just set around the edges, about 30-35 minutes, but could be longer depending on how many ounces your ramekins are. Mine were a little deeper so it took about 50 minutes to bake.
- Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. They will keep up to 3 days.
- Before serving, sprinkle a heavy layer of granulated sugar on top of the custard. Using a kitchen torch, melt the sugar. Move the flame gradually in small circles over the surface of the custard, heating the sugar until it is evenly melted and golden. The sugar will harden in a few seconds and your crème brûlée is ready to eat!