Savory Autumn Creme Brulee Provencal

"Lavender dominates the underlying medley of flavors, but in this version with herbs de provence provide a light, sweet and savory character that is very satisfying on an autumn evening. It is best to let the custard set overnight to "marry the flavors" and then cool down again before serving, so ideally you should plan on making this the day before serving then doing the sugar brulee and allowing the custard to set at room temperature well before serving for ideal flavor."
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Ready In:
48hrs 30mins
4 ramekins


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 12 teaspoon vanilla
  • 14 cup sugar
  • 1 12 cups heavy cream
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de provence (or equal parts lavender flowers, thyme, rosemary and fennel seeds)


  • Combine the sugar, vanilla and egg yolks, mixing well. Set aside.
  • Place the cream and the herbes in a large saucepan and heat slowly just to the boiling point. Strain the herbes with a fine sieve.
  • Pour the cream into the eggs and sugar mixture in a slow and steady stream, whisking constantly.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of the mixture into each ramekin.
  • Ideally, allow to sit overnight before baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 and prepare a water bath in a pan so that the water comes halfway up the (outer) sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake until the custard is set, about 40 minutes. It's OK if the centers "roll" a bit, as long as the sides are set: the custards will set up as they cool.
  • Allow to cool and refrigerate at least two hours. The longer the better. Putting a round of plastic wrap on the custards will prevent a film from forming.
  • At least an hour before serving, sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar onto each custard, thinly and evenly.
  • Melt the sugar with a flame until golden brown, either with a kitchen torch or under the broiler, about an inch from the flame for 30 seconds.
  • Cool to room temperature before serving.
  • Tip:

  • If you don't have a kitchen torch and will be browning the sugar under the broiler, try to get the custard as close as possible to the top of the ramekins. The sugar will brown better and more evenly, and you'll have a better presentation.

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I live in San Diego and travel frequently to China as a tour leader and travel consultant. Although I have been known to chow down on coconut grubs and ant eggs on my trips to China, when I'm cooking at home, my tastes run to European: Mediterranean, Provencal, Tuscan. I also like just about anything that Bobby Flay cooks up, and I love how he puts together a plate with American regional cuisines. I enjoy the art of travel, savoring local food as a part of my experience. In America, the places that make a great destination for me again and again are New Orleans, Santa Fe, Seattle, Key West, San Antonio and New York. Abroad, I do love Provence, France; the Amalfi Coast; Santorini, Greece; Moorea, Tahiti; Hong Kong and then there's my bucket list... My S/O lives in Las Vegas, so I spend quite a bit of time there but at home I unwind with my two Weimaraners and young Vizsla, do some gardening, reading, cooking, dog training and planning my (or someone else's) next trip. <img src=""> <img src="">
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