Creme Brulee

One thing I noticed years ago when making creme brulee was that most recipes, like with any custard recipe, start with separating the egg yolks from the whites. Which I actually find fun, but that usually leaves you with some leftover egg parts depending on the recipe. And they don't always get used up. So after trying it several times I can say it doesn't really need it. I use both parts of the egg and make up the richness with all cream instead of part cream part milk.

With that step removed I want to tell you how easy creme brulee is. Sure it's impressive and fancy and of course delicious, but that doesn't mean it's difficult by any means. Which is awesome. Another really helpful part is you can make it the night before and just torch when you are ready to eat so you have less to do right before company arrives. And that is always a bonus.

So generally I cook for a crowd, but this is really easy to cook for just two, underneath are the amounts for that.

4 c. heavy cream
4 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
pinch salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

More sugar for dusting

Crème Brulee for two
3/4 c. heavy cream
1 small egg
3 Tbsp. sugar
tiny pinch of salt
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325*F. 

In a large bowl beat the egg(s) until uniform in color. Add the pinch of salt and let stand for 5 minutes before whisking again. 

Meanwhile heat the vanilla, cream, and sugar. Stir to combine and then heat over medium heat until the cream is just at the boiling point but not boiling yet. You want it as hot as you can get it without boiling it. 

This next step is called tempering.  It helps combine the eggs and the cream in to a smooth custard instead of scrambling the eggs. No one wants scrambled egg custard. While whisking the bowl of eggs slowly drizzle the hot cream in to the eggs. Keep whisking and drizzling, with the stream no wider than a pencil, until all the cream is in with the eggs. Whisk it a few more seconds and then pour it in to clean, dry, ramekins. 

Place the ramekins in a baking dish and add some water around the sides taking care not to splash any in to the cream mixture. Bake at 325 for 35 - 45 minutes or until the custard is set but still a little jiggly. Over cooked and it will solidify too much and not be creamy. Under cooked and it will be runny and not creamy. 

Remove from the oven and dry off the bottom of the dishes. Allow to cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 8 hours. 

Just before serving add 1/4 - 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar to the top and shake to coat evenly. Use a kitchen torch to melt and "brulee" the sugar until it's golden and caramelized. Allow to cool slightly and enjoy. 


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