Creme Brule sometimes intimidates people, but it shouldn’t. It fairly easy to make and tastes so decadent. Chocolate is my favorite and am working on some other flavors, but I will share with you my basic vanilla recipe.
Vanilla Creme Brule – Serves 6
Creme Brule – 1/2 of a vanilla bean, chopped in the smallest pieces you can or vanilla extract, 2 TB sugar, 1 C heavy cream, 1 C half and half, 3 egg yolks, 1 egg, 1/4 sugar and a pinch of salt.
For the topping– 1/2 C brown sugar and 1/2 Granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Pulverize the vanilla bean and 2 TB sugar in a coffee grinder or skip this step and use vanilla extract ( the bean gives it a really intense flavor). Warm cream, half and half and vanilla sugar or vanilla extract in a saucepan over med. heat just until steam rises (you don’t ant to burn your milk mixture).
Whisk egg yolks, egg, 1/4 C sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl. Slowly whisk hot cream mixture into eggs to temper. Strain egg mixture with a fine mesh strainer to get out any vanilla bean pieces. Pour into six 4 oz. ramekins. Arrange dishes in a baking pan filled with water. Try not to let bowls touch each other and only fill pan 1/4 full of water. Bake approx 40 minutes. Don’t overlook. They should be slightly jiggly, but not runny.
Remove ramekins from water bath and cool, and then cover with plastic wrap. Chill until completely cold. Overnight is okay if you have the time.
Caramelize each with topping mixture and either burn with a torch or in your broiler for a few seconds (be careful as to watch so they don’t really burn though if you are putting in the oven.
For the topping, pour both sugars onto a shallow cookie sheet pan. After the brules are are down baking, turn off the oven and put the pan of sugars in the oven (no heat). Allow the sugars to dry out. Once the sugars are dried out, put in a food processor or coffee grinder to make a fine sugar.