Sunday, October 2, 2011

Classic Crème Brûlée

Here is the thing. Crème Brûlée is very very easy to make. The key is that you really need to make it the night before you want to serve it. That way it completely chills before you do the last step of adding sugar and either torching it, or broiling it. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking they can't make it because they don't have a torch. You can, you just use the broiler in the ovem. Then you chill it again for at least an hour after you brown the top. If you plan one day ahead, you will have a great dessert that is simple to make. Here is the process...

8 yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated white sugar

Preheat oven to 300ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow.
 I use my kitchenaid and it makes it a breeze.
Add cream and vanilla, and continue to whisk until well blended, again in the kitchenaid.
Strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles. This is necessary, so if you are being lazy and think it won't mater.... IT DOES!
I put a strainer inside a bowl and pour. Then lift the strainer out and you are left with perfect cream.
Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard cups.
Place ramekins in a large pan filled with 2 inches of hot water and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled.
Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 3 hours, or up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small, hand-held torch to melt sugar. If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler until sugar melts (usually about 6-7 minutes). Re-chill custards for at least another 30 minutes before serving.