Crème Brûlée

February 1, 2018

Creme Brulee is one of those desserts that can makes your heart sing. It’s creamy and oh so luscious, and don’t even get me started on that crisp caramlized sweet shell. These are Heaven in every way. 

Creme Brulee in remekin

What Is Creme Brulee?

Crème brûlée is a french dessert that literally means “burnt cream,” as it is a custard with a hard caramelized shell coating the top.

It is generally served at room temperature in individual dishes called “ramekins.” The contrasting layers make it one of my favorite recipes – Try it and you’ll find out why!

It really doesn’t get much better than this! To crack through that incredibly crisp, perfectly caramelized, candy-like shell, into a rich, luscious and perfectly smooth custard is something to dream about.

And this recipe just happens to be my all time favorite! I’ve never had a crème brûlée I enjoyed more.  Maybe it has something to do with the quality of vanilla beans I added to them.

I used Singing Dog Vanilla Beans and they are the best I’ve ever used. 

how to make Creme Brulee with Vanilla Beans

A Dessert Worthy of Any Celebration

This is a dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. Birthday, Valentines, Easter, Christmas, wedding, celebrating a day off work – you name it.

You just can’t go wrong with these! It’s a dessert everyone will love!

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Recipe

  • Heavy cream
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg yolks
  • Salt
  • Vanilla bean
  • Vanilla extract
  • Hot water

Best Creme Brulee shown here in a white custard cup garnished with a raspberry and mint on top

How to Make Crème Brûlée

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour cream into a medium saucepan.
  • Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add to saucepan along with vanilla bean pod.
  • Heat mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a light boil.
  • Remove from heat and let rest 15 minutes.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup granulated sugar and salt with egg yolks until mixture becomes slightly pale.
  • While whisking, slowly pour cream mixture into egg yolk mixture. Stir in vanilla extract and remove vanilla bean pod.
  • Place ramekins into baking pans. Divide cream mixture among ramekins (about 7 – 6 oz ramekins or about 12 – 4 oz ramekins), filling each nearly full.
  • Pour hot water into pan (being careful not to get any in ramekins) and fill water level to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake in preheated oven 30 – 45 minutes, until set but centers still jiggle slightly (bake time will vary based on which size ramekins used, lesser for smaller, greater for larger).
  • Cool at room temperature 30 minutes then transfer to refrigerator to chill 3 hours.
  • Remove from refrigerator and let rest 20 minutes, then sprinkle tops evenly with remaining sugar.
  • Holding a hand held kitchen torch, about 4-inches from sugar, evenly brown sugar. Remove the flame just before desired shade is reached. Return to refrigerator and chill 20 minutes.

creme brulee

Where Can I Get a Culinary Torch?

And they are easier to make than you’d think. Plus it’s really not scary working with a culinary torch if that’s what you’ve been nervous about.

If you are looking for one to purchase you can get them on Amazon HERE. Bed Bath and Beyond, Lowes, Walmart and Sur La Table are more places that sell them (just to name a few).

I have seen some recipes that use the broiler to caramelize the sugar but I like to use a culinary torch because it gives you more control over how evenly the sugar melts.

Can I Caramelize in the Oven Instead of with the Torch?

If you don’t have a torch and don’t want to invest in one than you can try the broiler route.

Once they’re chilled – set the oven rack about 5 – 6 inches away from the broiler.

Place the custards on a rimmed baking sheet, cover custards with the sugar and broil for about 5 minutes until sugar caramelizes – keep a close eye on them though they can burn quickly.

crème brûlée with sugar crunch

More Recipes You Might Like

  • Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Bars HERE.
  • Crème Brûlée Cupcakes HERE.
  • Oatmeal Brûlée HERE.

Creme Brulee

5 from 6 votes
It really doesn't get much better than this! To crack through that incredibly crisp, perfectly caramelized, candy-like shell, into a rich, luscious and perfectly smooth custard is something to dream about.
Servings: 7 -6 oz Ramekins
Prep Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar , divided
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Hot water for water bath

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour cream into a medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add to saucepan along with vanilla bean pod. Heat mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a light boil. Remove from heat and let rest 15 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup granulated sugar and salt with egg yolks until mixture becomes slightly pale. While whisking, slowly pour cream mixture into egg yolk mixture. Stir in vanilla extract and remove vanilla bean pod.
  3. Place ramekins into baking pans. Divide cream mixture among ramekins (about 7 - 6 oz ramekins or about 12 - 4 oz ramekins), filling each nearly full. Pour hot water into pan (being careful not to get any in ramekins) and fill water level to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in preheated oven 30 - 45 minutes, until set but centers still jiggle slightly (bake time will vary based on which size ramekins used, lesser for smaller, greater for larger). Cool at room temperature 30 minutes then transfer to refrigerator to chill 3 hours.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and let rest 20 minutes, then sprinkle tops evenly with remaining sugar. Holding a hand held kitchen torch, about 4-inches from sugar, evenly brown sugar. Remove the flame just before desired shade is reached. Return to refrigerator and chill 20 minutes.
  5. Serve cold.
  6. Recipe Source: method adapted from Alton Brown
Nutrition Facts
Creme Brulee
Amount Per Serving
Calories 676 Calories from Fat 495
% Daily Value*
Fat 55g85%
Saturated Fat 33g206%
Cholesterol 409mg136%
Sodium 61mg3%
Potassium 124mg4%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Sugar 35g39%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 2295IU46%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 115mg12%
Iron 0.6mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Creme Brulee
Author: Jaclyn
Creme Brulee Torch

This post is sponsored by Singing Dog Vanilla, however all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for working with me Singing Dog Vanilla, I love your products! 

This post contains an affiliate link.