Emilea's Crème Brûlée
C'est magnifique! =^..^=
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1 qtheavy cream
1/2 cwhite sugar
1 Tbspvanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
extrawhite sugar for caramelizing
How to Make Emilea's Crème Brûlée
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Pour the heavy cream into a large saucepan. Whisk in the 1/2 cup of white sugar. Cook over medium heat until the cream starts to boil, whisking often.
**If you are using a whole vanilla bean, split it in half and scrape out the seeds with the back of your knife. Put the seeds and bean pod into the pot of cream & sugar, then whisk well before cooking.
- Also while waiting for the cream to heat up, place 6-8 ramekins into a baking pan with at least a one inch rim. Set aside.
- Begin whisking the egg yolks as you add a small amount of hot cream to "temper" the eggs. (You don't want to cook the egg yolks!) Trickle in more cream and stir until all is incorporated.
- Carefully pour HOT water from a pitcher into the space between the ramekins, taking care not to get water into the custard. (Don't ask me how I know this...) The water should come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. The fancy French term for this water bath is a "bain marie." Say it a few times in conversation to impress your friends.
- Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes, depending on how "deep" the ramekins are. Check early. The custard should still be "jiggly" in the center, but thicker around the insides of the ramekins and starting to come loose from the sides, and NOT browned.
- Remove the ramekins carefully from the pan of water and let cool slightly before transferring them to the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. The next day is also fine, but you might want to cover the ramekins with plastic wrap to keep the custard fresh.
- When you are ready for other flavors, check out these variations from Emilea's repertoire:
CHOCOLATE Crème Brûlée: Grate or break up a 4 oz. Ghirardelli premium milk chocolate baking bar (or 4 oz. of "good" milk chocolate chips) and use only 6 egg yolks. All other ingredients & directions stay the same. Add the chocolate to the cream mixture as it starts to boil, but before tempering.
PEANUT BUTTER Crème Brûlée: Use only 6 egg yolks, then stir in 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter to the tempered mixture. Crumbled Oreos in the bottom of the ramekins before adding the custard would make this treat super yummy.
FRUIT Crème Brûlée: Make custard according to recipe, but add fruit to the bottom of the ramekins before adding the custard for baking. Cherries and different berries are especially delicious.
BLACK FOREST Crème Brûlée: Make Chocolate Crème Brûlée, as noted above. Spoon cherries or cherry pie filling into the bottom of the ramekins before adding the chocolate custard and baking.
**Some people might prefer these variations of Crème Brûlée without the burnt sugar topping, but it's your call. =^..^=