Eeek! I'm running late in posting this! My cheeseball girlfriends Ingrid and Michelle were waiting on me to get this crème brûlée up- sorry to have you waiting ladies! Michelle chose this crème brûlée recipe to make together this month and it comes from Dorie Greenspan's book: Baking From My Home To Yours.
I've wanted to make crème brûlée for years! I even bought vanilla beans ages ago at Costco and never made it. I think I was waiting for a special occasion or maybe I was intimidated by the whole water bath thing. I'm not really sure, but I'm kicking myself now for waiting so long. This recipe could not be more straight forward and simple. You don't need a water bath, since it's baked in a low oven and you don't need expensive vanilla beans since it uses extract. And did I mention it's delicious?
Here's my torch- I named her Cali, short for Caliente! ha!
I've tried many crème brûlée in my life and I can't say it was the best one I've ever had, but it was right up there. This version was very silky and lighter than I expected. Most of the time, they're very thick and custardy, but this was pleasantly different. Don't get me wrong, it's loaded with calories but it doesn't feel as heavy going down :-). I made this twice, a vanilla version, with and without chocolate chunks on the bottom as well as an espresso version (I just added a couple teaspoons of instant espresso powder to the custard). I don't really have a favorite as they were all good, but I can tell you that the brûléed sugar on top is the best part!
Crème Brûlée from Dorie Greenspan
- 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1/2 c. whole milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- granulated sugar for topping
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Put the six baking dishes (gratin dishes or ramekins) on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Bring the cream and milk just to a boil. 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 to temper the yolks. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the cream and milk. Strain the custard into the baking dishes.
Bake the custards for 50 to 60 minutes* (see note), or until the center are set. Lift the dishes onto a cooling rack, and let the custards cool until they reach room temperature. Cover each custard with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but up to 2 days.
To Caramelize the Sugar: Sprinkle the top of each custard with approximately 1 tablespoon (I used just enough sugar to coat the top of the custard) of sugar, or enough to cover the custard nicely. Brown the sugar with a torch until it bubbles and colors. Allow the bubbles to subside before serving.
NOTE: I used four larger ramekins rather than 6 smaller ones, so they took longer to bake. Rather than 50-60minutes, my crème brûlée took about 75 minutes to bake.