Creme Brulee

When we are entertaining at home, I generally serve a few courses, but I still like to have something special and light for dessert. Both Creme Brulee or Panna Cotta are light, creamy and perfect choices when entertaining at home as they can both be prepared in advance. This dessert has been very popular for many years and is often my first choice for dessert when we are dining out. Creme Brulee has also shown up in many variations throughout the years, because really it is basically just a simple baked custard that you top with caramelized sugar so the custard itself can be flavored in many ways. Although I also enjoy chocolate flavored Creme Brulee, I would have to say that this basic recipe, flavored with vanilla bean, is my ultimate favorite. This traditional dessert is actually French in origin, but can be found across Italy. The crisp sugar topping can be made with either a kitchen torch, or the oven broiler, and the topping will crisp up as it cools.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2012

Creme Brulee

Creamy baked custard is topped with a layer of crisp caramelized sugar in this tasty dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, Split Lengthwise
  • 5 Large Egg Yolks

Topping:

  • 12 Teaspoons Sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Bring the cream to a boil with the vanilla bean, then remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar, and slowly begin to add some of the cream mixture to the bowl, mixing well.
  4. Continue until all the cream has been combined with the egg mixture.
  5. Pour this mixture through a fine strainer, and into 4 individual ramekin dishes placed in a baking dish large enough to hold them.
  6. Add enough water into the baking dish to come up halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until almost firm.
  8. Cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  9. Sprinkle the topping sugar on top of each ramekin, and either broil or use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar.
  10. Serve.