Classic Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins

Crisp sugar top, warm center, what else is there to say? Try crystalized ginger and orange zest instead of the vanilla bean for a change of pace.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F with the rack in the center.
  2. Line a deep baking dish with a cloth and have tea kettle of boiling water ready.
  3. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla and put in a heavy saucepan.
  4. Add the vanilla beans and cream.
  5. Heat on medium high until bubbles just form around the edges of the pan.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.
  7. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the egg yolks, salt, and sugar and beat until the mixture is pale yellow and thick ribbons fall from the beater.
  8. Very gradually add 1/3 to 1/2 of the cream mixture to the egg mixture, stirring constantly.
  9. Be careful not to "scramble" the eggs.
  10. Once about half of the cream is in, the outside of the bowl should be warm and you can speed up the addition of cream.
  11. Run the whole mix through a fine mesh seive lined with cheesecloth over a bowl.
  12. Fill 4 ramekins almost to the top (between 3/4 and full).
  13. Place them in the lined baking dish and carefully pour the boiling water into the dish about half way up the sides of the ramekins.
  14. Cover the pan loosely with foil and bake until custards are just set around the edges (30-45 minutes).
  15. Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes.
  16. Cover and refrigerate until chilled (about 4 hours).
  17. They will keep for about 3 days at this point.
  18. To serve, sprinkle 2 tsp of sugar over each dish and melt the sugar using a kitchen torch until evenly melted and golden.
  19. You may also put them under the broiler if you do not have a torch.

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