The secret to the surprisingly simple recipe is in creating a smooth custard.
If you have never made creme brulee before, you might be surprised to know that you most likely already own all of the ingredients. In fact, it comes together with just a few ingredients and only requires a few steps to prepare. Even better, the custard can be made up to two days in advance to save you cooking time on the day of your event. Just make sure to save the sugar crust until right before serving.
The most important step to making creme brulee is tempering the egg yolks. Start by creating a smooth mixture of egg yolks and sugar, and then continue to beat the mixture quickly as you gradually add in the hot cream. Rushing this step will result in scrambled eggs-and require you to start from scratch to make the recipe.
Choosing the right ramekins is another important step. While shallow ramekins work better for creme brulee as they cook faster and more evenly, your portions will be smaller. If you use a deeper ramekin, you have to worry about them being cooked through without burning on the outside.
Using a water bath is very important to successfully bake your brulees because it helps to create a moist environment while baking and promotes more even cooking.
Finally, remember that your baking time may vary depending on the size and shape of your ramekins, as well as your oven. You’ll know they’re baked perfectly when the edges are set and the center of the creme brulee is slightly jiggly. If you have a thermometer, you can also check the internal temperature, which should be 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Of course, creme brulee is its own reward for your efforts! Treat yourself and your guests this holiday season with this heavenly (and affordable) dessert recipe.
Vanilla Creme Brulee
Creamy and smooth, this classic Vanilla Creme Brulee recipe is super easy to make even if you are a beginner baker! Made with just 4 ingredients, it has a rich custard and crispy caramelized topping.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar for topping
- 1 kettle of hot water
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Heat 2 cups heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a saucepan over a medium heat until it slightly starts to simmer. Turn off the heat and put the mixture aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together 6 egg yolks and ⅓ cup granulated sugar for about 5 minutes until it has thicker consistency and pale color.
- Gradually, a little at a time, add cream and vanilla mixture to the eggs until well combined, constantly stirring.
- Divide the mixture between 4 ramekins and place them into a large baking pan. Pour hot water into the pan, covering ¾ of the ramekins.
- Bake at 325°F for about 30-35 minutes until crème brûlée is set but slightly jiggly in the center.
- When crème brûlée is done, remove the ramekins from the baking pan and allow to cool completely. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Before serving, sprinkle granulated sugar over the crème brûlée and, using a blow-torch, brown the sugar to a crispy top. Enjoy!
What is a beautiful meal without an incredible dessert? When we’re entertaining, one of our favorite show-stopping ways to end a meal is a creme brulee—especially because it’s actually much easier to make than you might think. (No, really!)