This is a dessert you can often find at fine dining restaurants. Maybe that's why people think it must be difficult to make. Fear not! There are very few ingredients, and it's very simple to make.
This could be your New Years Eve dessert.
(Read all instructions before you begin. There are a few steps you will want to have ready before you begin.)
Recipe for 8 4 ounce ramekins.
First step. Place ramekins on baking pan that will allow you to add boiling water to. You will bake the custard in a water bath. I lined mine with tin foil but you don't have to. A glass 9x13 pan works well for the baking pan.
OK, you are set.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 teaspoons sugar to use for caramelizing
- Place egg yolks in a bowl. Add first amount of sugar and whisk together until the yolks are creamy. Set aside.
- Add cream to a small sauce pan. Heat over medium stirring constantly, until cream is steamy and very warm, but do not let it get to the boiling point. (this is important)
- Remove cream from heat and slowly pour about 1/4 cup of the cream into the egg yolk and sugar mixture making sure you are whisking the whole time. (this too is extremely important so you get no cooked yolk pieces)
- Add vanilla and mix well.
- Pour the egg and sugar mixture into the pan of remaining cream and whisk well.
- Have a glass bowl ready that is covered with cheesecloth. I secure the cheesecloth to the bowl with an elastic band so it doesn't slide into the custard when being poured through.
- Pour the warm custard through the cheesecloth to make sure your remaining custard is completely smooth and there are not lumps. (See photo below) This process will also remove some foam from the custard. It will sit on the top of the cheesecloth. Discard this.
- Pour strained custard mixture into 6-8 ramekins that are sitting in a baking tray deep enough to hold the water bath you will add during baking.
- Place tray with filled ramekins into a 250º F oven.
- Once tray is in oven carefully pour boiling water into the baking tray until the water is half way up the sides of the ramekins. Make sure you don't get any water in the custard.
- Close the oven door and allow the custards to bake for 45 minutes.
- Open door and carefully jiggle one or two of the little cups (be careful of the hot water). They should be set around the edges but jiggly (not runny) in the centre. You may have to bake them another 5-15 minutes. Always a wee bit different with every oven, but don't over bake, the jiggle in the centre is important.
- Once baked carefully remove each ramekin to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- Cover tightly with wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 8 hours. (even a day or two is fine)
- One hour before serving remove from refrigerator. Remove wrap. If there is a little condensation on the tops gently dab with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle tops with 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar (I like to use Turbino sugar for this but you can use regular white sugar). Gently tip and shake each little pot to get the sugar to coat the whole top of each one.
- Now it's time to torch the sugar. If you have a little kitchen torch use that to caramelize the sugar. If not, place all the little pots back onto a baking sheet. Turn oven on broil. Place tray with custards under broiler. DON'T WALK AWAY! Turn on the oven light and watch carefully. It will take very little time before the sugar begins to melt. It will go from this point to burnt very quickly so just stay with it. You do want it to JUST begin to look like it might burn. QUICKLY remove from oven.
- Allow to cool for just a minute or two and then place back in refrigerator, uncovered, for about 1/2 hour. Or you can leave on counter. I like the pudding to be cold so I do put it back in the refrigerator for that short time.
- Make coffee or tea, and by that time your little pots of Creme Brulee will be ready to serve.