A very exciting little dessert for me, because its Gluten Free and often the only thing I can safely eat on the menu!
That crack of hard, almost burnt sugar into the soft, smooth vanilla or lemon custard.......I just dive in!
What I love in about scoffing creme brûlée in France is the size of the dessert, no piddly ramekin for me! You get a decent shot at enjoying this traditional French dessert and often I wash it down with a glass of Calvados! Perfection!
Caramel and custard, a match made in heaven!
Oh god! I think tonight I will be busy making creme brûlée again!
1 1/4 cups (300ml) double or dessert cream
1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk
1/3 cup (70g) sugar, plus about 4 tablespoons for caramelizing the custards
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped (use just the seeds), or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or ground vanilla beans
4 large egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 300ºF (150ºC).
Place your gratin dishes or ramekins in a deep sided baking dish.
Heat water in a saucepan or kettle to use for baking the custards.
Warm the cream, milk, 1/3 cup sugar, and vanilla beanpaste in a small saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl, stir together the egg yolks. When the cream is warm, remove it from the heat and gradually pour it into the yolks, whisking constantly. Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a large measuring cup with a spout or small pitcher.
Pour the custard into the gratin dishes or ramekins, then add hot water to the pan to the baking dish, until it reaches halfway up the outsides of them, aiming carefully so you don't get any in the custards.
Bake the custards until they are just set when you jiggle them. For shallow gratin dishes, mine took 15 to 20 minutes, in ramekins they took 20 to 25 minutes. May ake longer in your oven.
Remove the cooked custards from the water bath, being careful as they are quite hot, and cool on a wire rack. When cool refrigerate the custards until they are completely chilled. (They can be refrigerated 3 to 4 days if you wish. Cover them in the refrigerator to prevent them from picking up other odors, if you do.)
To caramelize the custards, sprinkle each custard with enough sugar to cover the top. My gratin dishes took about 1 tablespoon of sugar each; ramekins may take slightly less. Use a blowtorch to caramelize each custard.The best way to do this is to wave the blowtorch over the top until the sugar starts to melt and bubble. Then, carefully, tilt the dish with one hand while you wave the flame over the custard, turning it so that the caramel covers the top in a relatively even layer and doesn't burn. You may want to wear an oven mitt for holding the custard dish if you are worried about spills. Let them caramel harden and serve.
David Lebovitz - Recipe