- Prep time
- 35 minutes PT35M
- Cook time
- 80-90 minutes PT90M
- 8 servings
One of the best parts of this decadent dessert is that you can make it a day ahead of time and then caramelize the sugar on top just before serving—perfect for stress-free entertaining!
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange flower water
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- ½ cup superfine sugar, for caramelizing
Preheat oven to 300ºF.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat cream, milk, vanilla bean and ½ cup sugar until bubbles begin to form around edges of saucepan, then remove from heat. Stir in orange flower water. Remove vanilla bean, halve lengthwise and scrape seeds back into the milk and cream mixture.
In a separate, heat-resistant bowl, whisk egg yolks, whole egg and remaining sugar together until smooth.
Temper the eggs by slowly pouring the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture while whisking continuously. When mixtures are completely incorporated, strain and divide evenly into 8 oven-safe ramekins. Pop any bubbles that form on the surface by quickly moving a torch over the surface of the batter.
Carefully place ramekins into a baking dish, making sure they do not touch. Place baking dish in the oven and fill the dish with enough cool water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover dish with aluminum foil, leaving one corner open to release steam. Cook for 80-90 minutes, until the batter no longer ripples when the ramekins are jiggled.
Remove baking dish from oven, lift ramekins out of their water bath and let cool at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator to cool completely.
Just prior to serving, sprinkle each Crème Brûlée evenly with superfine sugar, then use a butane torch to caramelize the sugar until golden and crispy. For uniform color, start in the middle of the custard and move the torch in slowly expanding circles toward the edge of the ramekin.
Techniques used in this recipe:
caramelization: the process of browning sugar in the presence of heat. The temperature range in which sugar caramelizes is approximately 320 to 360F. This method is also applied to fruits and vegetables in which the natural sugars present "caramelize" during a slow period of cooking over low heat.
- scald: to heat a liquid, usually milk or cream, to just below the boiling point. May also refer to blanching fruits and vegetables.
- temper: to heat gently and gradually. May refer to the process of incorporating hot liquid into a liason to gradually raise its temperature. May also refer to the proper method for melting chocolate or fondant.
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