The first time I had Crème Brûlée I was in a little seafood restaurant in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. It was definitely a case of love at first bite!
Crème Brûlée is a dessert consisting of a rich vanilla custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. I believe it is traditionally served at room temperature but I have taken it directly from refrigerator, sprinkled on the sugar and broiled it; and let me tell you, it was delicious. I loved the contrast between the creamy, cold custard and the warm, crunchy topping.
The last time I made this dessert there were only going to be three for dinner; so I cut the recipe in half and it turned out perfectly!
Eggs and vanilla pod.
Bringing cream and vanilla to a simmer.
Slowly adding simmering cream and vanilla to eggs and sugar.
Adding boiling water to pan.
Crème Brûlée, before adding the sugar topping, cooling to room temperature prior to refrigeration.
The deliciously, decadent finished product!
- 2½ cups whipping cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 8 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup sugar, plus extra for broiling
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place 6 ramekins in a baking dish (make sure baking dish has sides at least 1½" - 2 " high)
- Heat 2 cups of the cream with the scraped vanilla seeds and pod until it reaches a simmer.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and ⅓ cup sugar.
- Remove vanilla pod. Pouring very slowly, whisk the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture.
- Divide mixture among the 6 ramekins.
- Carefully pour boiling water into the baking dish until about ½ way up the sides of the ramekins. (To make this easier - pull oven rack out a little, add the baking dish and ramekins, remove one ramekin, add boiling water to half way up sides and then put the removed ramekin back in the pan.)
- Bake for 20-25 min., until the outside of the custard is set and the centre still jiggles.
- Remove from oven and leave ramekins in water for 15 min., remove from water and cool to room temperature before chilling in refrigerator.
- To serve, sprinkle with a thin layer of sugar and broil until golden, repeat.