Crème Brûlée

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Crème Brûlée

This recipe is from the Vanilla and Vinegar episode of A is for Apple, hosted by Lauren Gulyas.

Serves: 6


  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
  • 2 cups (500 ml) 35% cream
  • ½ a whole fresh vanilla bean
  • 7 egg yolks, room temperature
  • ½ cup (125 ml) white sugar
  • Extra sugar (for sugar topping)
  • 6 (1 cup) ramekins
  • Special equipment – mini blow torch


  1. Preheat oven to 275°F (135°C).
  2. In a medium sauce pan set over low heat place the milk, 35% cream and the scraped vanilla bean with the empty pod.
  3. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat.
  4. Allow the mixture to sit 10 minutes to infuse the vanilla.
  5. Place the yolks and sugar in a bowl and gently whisk to combine.
  6. Using a cup measure add a little at a time some of the warm cream to the egg yolk mixture. This will slowly temper the 2 liquids together without cooking the eggs. Add the remaining warm cream and whisk until well combined.
  7. Strain the mixture through a cheese cloth and place in the refrigerator overnight or until cool.
  8. Prepare poaching bath for cooking.
  9. Place the ramekins in an oven proof tray deep enough for the poaching water to cover the ramekin ¾ of the way up with water.
  10. Pour the crème brûlée mixture into a large measure cup with a spout for easy pouring.
  11. Pour cream equally to fill the 6 ramekins.
  12. Pour warm water into the pan making sure the water comes to ¾ of the way up the sides of the dishes.
  13. Carefully place in the oven and cook without disturbing for 1 ½ -2 hours.
  14. The custard is set when it is just slightly jiggly in the center.  Remove and let cool in the warm water bath.
  15. Refrigerate uncovered until cool. Once cool cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
  16. Right before you are ready to serve sprinkle about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of sugar on top. Shake the sugar with a gentle back and forth motion to achieve an even layer of sugar.
  17. Light the blow torch and set to medium torch. Keep the torch about 2 inches (5 cm) away from the sugar. Using a sweeping motion caramelize the sugar to golden brown.
  18. Work quickly; as a rule a good crème brûlée has a delicate crack of golden brown sugar and the custard is cold.
  19. Serve immediately.
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