Crème Brûlée (French for burnt cream) is a rich egg yolk and cream based custard with crackly caramelized sugar on top. This recipe takes the traditional stance of flavoring the custard with vanilla beans, as it has been flavored in its earliest known form since 1691!
I love this dessert and I found the recipe online while shopping for vanilla beans at www.myspicesage.com. Those folks sell the Madagascar vanilla beans at a great price. Try them! I noted that a creme brulee torch is listed as necessary for caramelizing the sugar. I do not have one of those torches but I expect a variety of small handheld butane torches available in hardware stores will work just fine.
I have yet to try this recipe but it looks fabulous.
Ingredients: (6 servings)
1 Madagascar vanilla bean
2 cups of heavy cream
6 egg yolks
6 tablespoons of sugar for the custard
3 teaspoons of sugar for the topping
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice the vanilla bean down the center, lengthwise. Scrape the seeds (soft, moist pulp) into a small pot and place the pod and the cream in the pot.
Allow the cream to come to a boil on high heat. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for fifteen minutes.
While the cream is cooling beat the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.
After the cream has cooled for fifteen minutes, remove the vanilla pod pieces and slowly add the cream to the egg/sugar mixture, while beating (whisking) rapidly to avoid having the egg yolk curdle.
Once the ingredients are well mixed, strain the mixture with a sieve to remove any excess foam.
Pour the cream mixture into 6, five ounce ramekins and place the ramekins in a deep (9"x13"x2") glass baking dish.
Place the baking dish on the center oven rack and pour hot water half way up the sides of ramekins.
Bake the custards for 35 to 40 minutes or until the custard jiggles in the center when lightly shaken.
Carefully remove the baking dish from oven and allow the custard/ramekins to sit for 20 minutes, still in the water bath.
Remove the ramekins from the glass baking dish and refrigerate them for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days (covered).
Remove the custards from the refrigerator and place about ½ teaspoon of sugar on top of each one, leaving a light, evenly coated layer across the top of each custard.
Using a crème brûlée torch, caramelize the sugar on top of each custard, working in a circle from the outside of each ramekin into the center of each ramekin, keeping the flame at a distance where it is just licking the sugar.
Allow each crème brûlée top to cool for a minute.
Serve and enjoy.