This post is dedicated to Angela, a great friend, fun travel companion and new Mom. No matter what happens in our lives, we'll always have Paris! Je chérirai toujours notre amitié.
recipe adapted from Mark Bittman (NY Times)
prep time: 25 min / cook time: 30 min
2 c heavy or light cream, or half-and-half
* I used heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
5 egg yolks
* I used 6 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp turbinado sugar (also known as raw sugar)
• Preheat oven to 325˚F.
• In a saucepan, combine cream and vanilla bean (split and scraped) and cook over low heat just until hot. Let sit for a few minutes, then discard vanilla bean.
* If using vanilla extract, add it now.
• In a bowl, beat yolks and sugar together until light.
• Stir about a quarter of the cream into the mixture, then pour sugar-egg mixture into cream and stir.
• Pour into six ramekins and place them into a baking dish; fill dish/pan; fill dish/pan with boiling water halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
• Bake for 30 minutes, or until centers are barely set.
• Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.
* The ramekins will be very hot when removed from the oven, so let them sit in the water bath for about 10 minutes before removing.
• Wrap ramekins tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
• When ready to serve, top each custard with about a teaspoon of turbinado sugar in a thin layer.
• Using a blowtorch, holding it about 2 inches away from the top, caramelize sugar.
• If you do not have a blowtorch, place ramekins in a broiler 2 to 3 inches from heat source. Turn on broiler.
• Cook until sugar melts and browns or even blackens a bit, about 5 minutes.
Un-torched crème brûlée can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, but I doubt they will last that long!
** ADDIECAKES' NOTES **
• If there is condensation on the tops of the crème brûlée after removing them from the refrigerator, gently blot the tops with a paper towel.
• If you do not have turbinado sugar on hand, you can use regular sugar. The only difference is the caramelized crust won't be as hard. You might want to torch a few layers. I tested both sugars and didn't see a huge difference in color, but the hardness of the crust was noticeably different.
• I torched two layers of turbinado sugar to get a nice "crack" when digging into the crème brûlée.
• This recipe is very rich, but delicious. I would recommend using 4 oz oval ramekins.
• I ate one at room temperature without the caramelized crust, just as delicious if you ask me.
ADDIECAKES' DIFFICULTY RATING
ADDIECAKES' TASTE RATING