Remember that test run of the crème brulee before I hosted some friends over? Although it turned out pretty well, I decided it wasn’t sweet enough so I took a risk and went with another recipe for the actual dinner. Some days you just have to live on the edge and hope it works out. I had snickerdoodles as a backup anyway in case the crème brulee didn’t work out.
Fortunately it did. This version was just as easy to make as the recipe from Cooking Classy. I think I could’ve whisked the custard mixture a little more thoroughly though as when I baked the ramekins, even in the bain marie (water bath), the tops of some of the ramekins formed a crust and had brown spots from where the sugar hadn’t completely dissolved in the cream before baking. That was a little worrisome and, ahem, a rookie mistake. But not to worry. Once I sprinkled sugar on top and bruleed it with my torch, the crust issue went away.
I liked this recipe a bit better than the first one. It appeared to have a little more flavor than just cooked cream and I think I baked the custard better so it was more firm, even after torching the top. My only issue is the same one I had with both crème brulees: I used real vanilla beans scraped from a vanilla bean pod to flavor the custard and the seeds ended up on the bottom of the ramekins instead of being evenly distributed throughout. That’s probably inevitable but a bummer nonetheless.
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
seed scrapings from one vanilla bean (optional but that's my preference, save vanilla pod)
1/2 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water
1/2 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, vanilla, vanilla bean seed scrapings and vanilla bead pod after seeds have been scraped out. Stir constantly over medium heat, for about 7-8 minnutes, until mixture starts to bubble, close to a simmer.
- Remove saucepan from heat; cover and let set for 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring constantly until all is combined.
- Pour liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake at 325 degrees F, just until the creme brulee is set, but still jiggles slightly in the center, approximately 40-45 minutes.
- Remove the ramekins from pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
- Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving.
- Divide the remaining 1/2 cup sugar equally among the 6 ramekins and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy and browned top. Return to the refrigerator for 5 minutes to let top set. Serve.