Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is one of those desserts that can make your heart sing! It's creamy and oh so luscious, and don't even get me started on that crips caramelized sweet shell. These are Heaven in every way!

It's one of the most fancy and easy desserts you'll every make with just 4 ingredients. The silky texture and rich vanilla flavor make this taste better than restaurant quality.

Grab your spoon and join me on the couch as you crack through the burnt-sugar topping and indulge yourself in that creamy custard. There will be no words, only the satisfying crunch!

What is a Creme Brulee?

Creme Brulee literally means "burnt cream." It has a creamy custard center and a hardened sugar topping which is usually granulated sugar sprinkled over the top and caramelized with a small kitchen torch. The custard can be made 2 to 3 days in advance. Making it a great party dessert.

It is generally served at room temperature in individual dishes called "ramekins." But if you don't have ramekins - ceramic bowls - you can pour your custard in a small baking dish that will fit in a larger baking dish filled with water. The cooking time will vary though.

Tools You'll Need:

Six - 4 oz Ramekins or custard cups. We prefer traditional ramekins because you don't have to spend as much time caramelizing the top. With less surface area the more it keeps the center from heating up too fast during the torching process.

A handheld Kitchen Torch. A small inexpensive kitchen torch will do the job and is our favorite way to caramelize the sugar.

Fine Mesh Sieve. Optional, but highly recommended. It helps to knock out bubbles and ensures the silkiest consistency.

13x9 Casserole Baking Dish. To bake the ramekins in a water bath.

Ingredients for Creme Brulee:

You really just need 4 ingredients for creme brulee.

  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Egg Yolks
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract

These simple ingredients create the most luxurious creamy custard and crackly topping.

How to Make Creme Brulee:

  1. Heat 2 cups creams in a saucepan, almost to a simmer. Stirring frequently. Add 1 tsp vanilla.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 5 egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar until blended.
  3. While whisking constantly, gradually stir in the hot cream.
  4. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve then divide into six ramekins and set into a 13x9 casserole baking dish.
  5. Fill the baking dish with boiling water halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  6. Bake at 325F. for 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, the refrigerate.

Pro Tips for the Best Creme Brulee:

  • Temper the Eggs. Start by adding hot cream to the egg mixture very slowly while whisking constantly to temper your eggs and avoid scrambling your eggs.
  • Do Not Overbake! The center should be nearly set and have more of a firm flan consistency than a creamy custard that you're looking for.
  • Caramelize the tops before serving. If you're planning to serve this in a few days, then I recommend to add the sugar topping last. If you store these in the refrigerator after caramelizing the top, the humidity of the refrigerator will soften the topping.

Can I make this Without a Torch?

If you don't have a torch, no problem! You can simply broil it in the oven for a few minutes. Make sure your brûlées are well chilled before putting them under the broiler. Depending on your heating element, this method can leave patches of white sugar while other parts gets caramelized.

How-to Broil. Set your oven rack to the very top near the broiler. Broil for 4-5 minutes until the sugar browns and darkens or caramelizes.

Toppings.

Fresh Berries and Mint leaves - These make for a beautiful presentation and a nice flavor contrast and textures.

Homemade Berry Sauce. Just before you serve, top the creme brulee with Homemade Blueberry Jam!

Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
40 minutes
Chill time:
Total time:
1 hour
Yield:
6 Servings
Cuisine:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 5 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 cup Sweetener, plus granulated sugar for caramelizing
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Pour heavy cream into a medium saucepan. Stir frequently until steaming, but just under a simmer, then remove from the heat. Add Vanilla Extract, or Vanilla Bean if you have any.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, and your choice of sweetener until blended. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot cream, careful as to not to scramble the eggs.
  4. Strain the mixture through strainer into a large measuring cup with a pouring lip. (This will ensure your mixture is nice and smooth and if your were using a vanilla bean, this will help you discard it.)
  5. Divide the mixture into 6 ramekins, or however many the mixture will fit, and place them in a 9x13 casserole dish.
  6. Fill the baking dish with boiling water about halfway up the sides of the cups.
  7. Bake at 300F for 35 minutes. Or until the centers are nearly set and have just a slight jiggle in the center.
  8. Carefully transfer ramekins from the water bath to a wire rack and cool to room temp, then cover and refrigerate. (Up to 2 hour or three days, or until the creme brulee is chilled completely.)
  9. When ready to serve, put 1 1/2 to 2 tsp sugar on each custard. Swirl to spread evenly. Torch the top, moving in a circular pattern until the whole surface is caramelized to a deep amber color. (If you don't have a torch, read authors note.)

Recipe notes

  • You can make this homemade fancy dessert even more amazing by adding fresh fruits or homemade jam.
  • If you don't have a torch, you can broil them in the oven for a few minutes, watching them closely, because this happens really fast! Set your oven rack to the very top near the broiler. Broil for 4-5 minutes until the sugar browns and darkens or caramelizes.
  • A fine mesh sieve will help you make the mixture silky smooth and taste even better.
  • Don't skip step 6. By pouring boiling water in a baking dish, it will make your custard nice and smooth and will prevent it from cooking too fast.

Did You Make This Recipe?

Snap a photo of it and tag me on Instagram @emily_kovalev or use the hashtag #emily_kovalev so I can see it and feature it!