Creme Brulee

A lot of people just adore crème brûlée. They see it on a dessert menu, and they just have got to get it. I am not one of those people. In fact, I think I’ve probably eaten crème brûlée just a few times, and this was my first time making it.

I followed the recipe exactly, and didn’t attempt adding any other flavours. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for the best. The taste was great – rich, creamy, sweet..almost heavenly. However, they never set and it was almost pure liquid under the hard sugar layer. I read around on the internet and found that many people had a very similar problem with this recipe, so if you do decide to make this, adjust the temperature! I did bake them for longer, but it still didn’t work out. Like I said though, the flavour was all there…just the consistency wasn’t.

Creme Brulee

Crème Brûlée
from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

1 ¼ cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 / 3 cup sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
About 6 tablespoons sugar or sifted light brown sugar, for topping

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 200ºF/ 93ºC.

2. Put the six baking dishes on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

3. Bring the cream and milk just to a boil.

4. In a 1 or 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together until well blended but not airy. Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid—this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won’t curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the cream and milk. Give the bowl a good rap against the counter to de-bubble the custard, then strain it into the baking dishes.
Bake the custards for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the centers are set—tap the sides of the dishes, and the custards should hold firm. Lift the dishes onto a cooling rack and let the custards cool until they reach room temperature.

5. Cover each custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably longer. (The custards can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.) For the sugar to be successfully caramelized, the custards need to be thoroughly chilled.

Serve the crème brûlée when the crème is really cold and the brûlée is still warm. You can serve the whole dessert chilled, but the sugar topping won’t have its characteristic crackle. And while I think crème brûlée should be served with nothing more then a spoon, you could offer berries and cookies as accompaniments.

The custard for crème brûlée must be made ahead so it has plenty of time to chill, but once you’ve caramelized the sugar on top, your storage time is over if your want the sugar to have crunch.