Classic Crème Brûlée
Guys, I bought a kitchen blowtorch this weekend… and as Julia Child once said, “every woman should have a blowtorch.”
I have put off this purchase for quite some time now. I try not to go impulse shopping when it comes to baking and cooking– I only have so many cabinets for storage! And it’s difficult to rationalize buying a blowtorch when I’ve really only had a need for a blowtorch a handful of times throughout my baking experiences…
But friends, I am here to say that I don’t care if you only need a blowtorch to make crème brûlée, the purchase is well worth it. First comes your standard crème brûlée and then the real creative culinary wheels start turning… Use your blowtorch to make roasted tomatoes or peppers, caramelized pie crusts, toasted marshmallows, seared meat, give color to a dish, or simply scare your boyfriend with it when you get angry!!! The options are endless!
Crème Brûlée is quickly making it’s way to the top of my favorite desserts and I’ve never tried making it on my own… solely because it requires a blowtorch and demarcara sugar. Well, enough is enough. I bought ramekins. I bought a blowtorch. I bought raw sugar. I am doing this.
So simple. So creamy. So delicious.
Classic Crème Brûlée recipe from America’s Test Kitchen:
4 cups heavy cream, chilled
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Pinch table salt
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
12 large egg yolks
8-12 teaspoons turbinado sugar or Demerara sugar
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine 2 cups cream, sugar, and salt in medium saucepan; with paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan, submerge pod in cream, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves. Take pan off heat and let steep 15 minutes to infuse flavors.
- Meanwhile, place kitchen towel in bottom of large baking dish or roasting pan and arrange eight 4- to 5-ounce ramekins (or shallow fluted dishes) on towel. Bring kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat.
- After cream has steeped, stir in remaining 2 cups cream to cool down mixture. Whisk yolks in large bowl until broken up and combined. Whisk about 1 cup cream mixture into yolks until loosened and combined; repeat with another 1 cup cream. Add remaining cream and whisk until evenly colored and thoroughly combined. Strain through fine-mesh strainer into 2-quart measuring cup or pitcher (or clean medium bowl); discard solids in strainer. Pour or ladle mixture into ramekins, dividing it evenly among them.
- Carefully place baking dish with ramekins on oven rack; pour boiling water into dish, taking care not to splash water into ramekins, until water reaches two-thirds height of ramekins. Bake until centers of custards are just barely set and are no longer sloshy and digital instant-read thermometer inserted in centers registers 170 to 175 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes (25 to 30 minutes for shallow fluted dishes). Begin checking temperature about 5 minutes before recommended time
- Transfer ramekins to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Set ramekins on rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
- Uncover ramekins; if condensation has collected on custards, place paper towel on surface to soak up moisture. Sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (1 1/2 teaspoons for shallow fluted dishes); tilt and tap ramekin for even coverage. Ignite torch and caramelize sugar. Refrigerate ramekins, uncovered, to re-chill, 30 to 45 minutes (but no longer); serve.