Vanilla crème brulée

After the success of my banana cream pie, I felt like I could tackle anything. So I decided to attempt one dessert that has defeated me in the past: the pesky crème brulée. The last time I tried this dessert out, I pulled it out of the oven, let it sit for the required amount of time, and when it was time to brulée it, I shook it a little bit and realized it was pure liquid. No rich, velvety custard. The crème had been ruined!

So I won’t lie when I said I was super nervous to try it again. I was prepared to be in a deep depression if the crème didn’t set this time. However, once I let the ramekins sit for a bit to cool, placed them in the fridge, and pulled them out for some brulée-ing, there was no jiggle. The crème had set!

After a little scorch from my miniature torch, I dug in. Heaven! The crème brulée could not defeat me this time!

Servings: 4 5.5-ounce ramekins

2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
5 egg yolks
½ cup sugar, more for topping


  1. Heat the oven to 325 °F. In a small saucepan, combine the cream, vanilla bean, and salt, and cook over low heat just until hot. Let sit for a few minutes, then discard the vanilla bean. (If using vanilla extract, you can add it now.)
  2. In a bowl, whisk the yolks and sugar together until light. Whisk about a quarter of the cream into this mixture, then pour the sugar-egg mixture into cream and stir.
  3. Pour into four 5.5- or 6-ounce ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish. Fill the dish with boiling water about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  4. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until centers are barely set. Cool the crème completely, and then refrigerate for several hours (up to a couple of days).
  5. When ready to serve, top each custard with about a teaspoon of sugar in a thin layer. Either use a small kitchen torch to brown the sugar on top, or place the ramekins in a broiler 2 to 3 inches from the heat source. Turn on the broiler. Cook until the sugar melts and browns about 5 minutes. Serve within two hours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s