Creme Brulee is the perfect hot weather dessert. It’s cool, creamy, smooth vanilla custard covered with a crisp crackly burnt sugar topping…and the best part is you can make this dessert in advance and quickly brulee the topping just before serving.

This dessert looks so impressive and elegant but it’s really easy to make: cook up the custard on the stove top, strain, pour into ramekins and set them inside a roasting pan filled halfway with boiling water, place into the oven for 40 minutes and voila! It’s done!

Just chill these babies overnight and brulee the tops the next day! Looks great, tastes great — here’s how you can make your own:

You can find the entire recipe here. Start by preheating the oven to 300 degrees and bringing a kettle of water to a boil. Get together the ramekins (i used six ramekins) and a roasting pan for the water bath. Set aside.

Heat 1/4 cup of cream and 2 tbls. sugar and the seeds with pod from a vanilla bean (I used 2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Crush Extract instead). Heat until the mixture starts to bubble around the edge of the pan, not boil, which should be around 7 to 8 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks (save the whites in a freezer-proof container and freeze for later use) with the remaining sugar and salt.

Temper the eggs with the cream mixture by slowly spooning a small amount of the warm cream mixture into the egg mixture and whisk to combine.

Repeat this procedure two or three more times then slowly pour the remaining cream mixture into the eggs whisking until completely combined. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and distribute the strained custard between the ramekins. I used 6 ramekins total.

pic_8_brulee

Place the filled ramekins in the roasting pan. Place in oven and fill half-way up the sides of the ramekins with boiling water.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the centers are set and barely jiggle. Remove from oven and roaster (I used latex dish-washing gloves to get the ramekins out of the roaster) and let cool for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, cover ramekins in plastic wrap and chill in fridge overnight.

To caramelize the tops: sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar over each custard. Pass a flame from a culinary torch about 1 to 2 inches above the surface moving in a circular motion until the sugar bubbles and turns a nice amber color with a smooth surface (I wore and Ove-Glove while doing this).

The sugar will turn hard and crack when you hit it with a spoon creating the perfect crunchy accompaniment to the smooth custard! Serve immediately and prepare for all the OOhhh’s, and Ahhh’s.

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  • Justine Quart

    Hells to the Yes. I’ll definitely be making these, as soon as I find a torch…

  • Goodies! by anna

    Hi Justine! If you live the San Francisco Bay Area you can find the culinary torch at Sur La Table, William-Sonoma, and Bed, Bath & Beyond….I was just in Bed, Bath & Beyond and they sell a Creme Brulee Kit with 4 ramekins and a culinary torch for around $10……good luck with your creme brulee!

  • catec

    Thanks for another lovely recipe! You have a knack for making potentially daunting recipes seem totally approachable. As for torches, I got the “Bernz-o-matic 019133ST2200T Micro Flame Butane Torch Kit” from Amazon for $25 based on a Cooks Illustrated recommendation. Bonus: it can also be used for soldering, etc. in case you ever need that.

  • Goodies! by anna

    catec: good luck with your new torch! let me know how your creme brulee turns out!!