Crème Brulee is pure creamy decadence. One of the added bonuses is that it is gluten-free, which has a significance to today’s world.
There are many different variations on the classic, but I’ve been making this version for over 25 years now, and I’ve never had an unhappy customer.
The one thing that really makes this stand out above the rest is that I use real pure vanilla beans. Nothing else is able to get that authentic natural flavor… no vanilla extract even comes close.
One of the other great things about my recipe is that although it tastes like it was nursed for hours, it is relatively easy to prepare and will astound even your pickiest eaters.
You can also make it 1-2 days ahead of time and keep it chilled and nobody will know the difference.
Then, when you’re ready to serve, just get your brulee torch out and create that crispy caramel topping that makes crème brulee special, and you’re ready to go!
I like serving it with fresh berries, but truth is, that is only for color. It can stand on it’s own.
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
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.