Creme Brûlée

My hubby’s favorite dessert on the planet is creme brûlée.  I think he would do just about anything for it.  It was his request for dessert this Christmas Eve, and I happily obliged.  I mean seriously, it never disappoints.
creme brûlée

you will need:
4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean pod
¾ cup sugar (plus extra for serving)
8 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon salt
optional – fresh fruit for garnish

Preheat oven to 325°.  Pour cream into a saucepan and add vanilla bean paste.  Simmer over medium-low heat for about 8 minutes.  Be careful to not let the mixture come to a boil, only slight bubbles around the edge.  Then strain mixture into a large bowl using a fine mesh strainer and set aside.

While cream is simmering, whip egg yolks with the sugar and salt until pale yellow and thick.  Once the cream is strained, it’s time to temper.  Whisk the egg mixture on low, and very slowly drizzle in 1 cup of the warm cream.  Add the remaining cream slowly until fully combined

Place ramekins onto a rimmed baking sheet and pour custard mixture into ramekins. Set baking sheet in your oven, then pour warm water into the bottom of the baking sheet until it comes halfway up the ramekins.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until just set. They should jiggle only slightly in the center when you shake the pan.  Do not allow the tops to brown.

Cool ramekins on countertop for about 30 minutes, then cover with plastic or foil and chill for at least 2-3 hours in the fridge.  You can also let them sit for up to 3 days.

When ready to serve, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of sugar over each ramekin of custard. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar until it forms thin, crisp surface.  Serve immediately.

serves: 8
time: 20 minutes active prep + 30ish minutes baking + 2 hours chilling
adapted from: Martha Stewart

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