Butterscotch Creme Brulee

"I like the subtle character that the butterscotch brings to the custard. Most Creme Brulee recipes use all heavy cream; this is somewhat lighter because of the use of half-and-half, but there's no mistaking that this is a rich, decadent dessert. This recipe does require a brulee torch to do properly, though I understand that it can be done by placing under your oven's broiler and carefully watching. You will need 4 ramekins, something that can withstand the cooking temperatures of an oven."
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet
Ready In:




  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Split vanilla bean down the middle and scrape out the insides. Heat heavy cream, half-and-half, and vanilla bean (all of it, including the husk) on medium-high until it just comes to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Whisk egg yolks and 2/3 cup of sugar together with butterscotch liqueur. Gradually stream some of the hot cream and vanilla mixture into the bowl while constantly stirring. Keep stirring to keep egg from scrambling. Continue until both mixtures are fully incorporated.
  • Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer and equally divide between 4 ramekins. Place the ramekins in a deep baking pan. Add enough water to come to halfway up the side of the ramekins.
  • Cook in oven for 45 minutes, until the surface is set but still trembling when shaken.
  • Allow to cool slightly, then move to refrigerator to cool for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
  • When ready to finish, remove from refrigerator and place at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Distribute 1 tablespoon of sugar on the surface of each ramekin. Gently rotate and tap the sides of each ramekin if necessary.
  • Using a brulee torch set to the highest setting, gradually melt the sugar on the surface of each ramekin. The sugar will bead up and turn to liquid form; move the torch to another area if the sugar starts to blacken. Some blackening is desirable. After going over the surface, some unmelted sugar will remain. Go back over these areas with the torch until they're melted, but stop if it turns black.
  • Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

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I have two teenagers who keep things very busy around our house during the daytime. I also work long hours at Ford Motor Company, and I do want to spend time with my family every day. If I try to cook when my kids have their friends over, I'm certain to be interrupted. In other words, my available times for cooking are very limited. I don't want to give up on anything I love - my family, my job, my cooking - so I do most of my cooking after everyone has gone to bed. My wife is a teacher, so this can be very late at night during the summer. Sometimes, I don't get started with my prep work until 12:30 a.m. Am I crazy?? Maybe. I'm also constantly working on healthier ways to prepare food. I deconstruct every recipe I like, and try to make it with healthier ingredients. The big challenge is keeping the food tasty. I believe it's possible to enjoy what you eat and still be healthy. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months largely by preparing my own food (and exercising). If I didn't keep such loony hours, I'd call myself "The Healthy Gourmet".
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