Crème Brûlée

I had a cooking lesson to give this week, and the requested dessert was a vanilla crème brûlée. I hope you enjoy eating it as much as I enjoyed instructing, and devouring every last bit.

Crème Brûlée – 4 ramekins

2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and arrange the ramekins on a large rimmed baking sheet.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the heavy cream, 1/2 of the sugar, vanilla extract, and the salt. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

While the cream is heating, in a bowl combine the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and whisk to combine. Gradually add some of the hot cream to the yolks, whisking constantly, then add the remaining hot cream and stir to fully combine. Strain the custard into a clean measuring cup. Carefully pour the custard into the ramekins, filling them to the rim.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and carefully pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the edges have set but the center still jiggles when the ramekin is gently shaken, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool on a cookie rack for 30 minutes then wrap individually with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

You want the top of the crème brûlée to crack when you hit it with the back of the spoon. So make sure to evenly top the custard with a 1 tablespoon of sugar. Use a kitchen blowtorch or the broiler to evenly melt and caramelize the sugar. Serve immediately.

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