I decided to make creme brulee on Saturday because my son has been BEGGING me to show him how to make it. When I worked at Zagara Italian Eatery, I made the creme brulee. And received much praise for it. So I wanted to share this simple recipe with you – my readers!
Here is a list of ingredients:
2 Cups Milk
2 Cups Half&Half
1 Vanilla bean
1/2 Cup Sugar, granulated, white
8 egg yolks, separated
First, preheat your oven to 325*F.
You’ll also need a large stock pot of water, on high flame and bring to a boil.
Measure the 2 Cups of milk and 2 Cups of half & half into a medium pot. Place over medium flame.
Please note: instead of using half & half, I just used equal parts heavy cream and milk. In this case, I used 1 Cup of milk and 1 Cup of heavy cream. This equals 2 Cups of half & half.
Next, take your vanilla bean and slice lengthwise, cutting completely through. Take the blunt end of the blade and scrape the cut side of the vanilla bean. Place the seeds and empty vanilla bean pod into the cream mixture on medium flame.
Crack the eight eggs into a small bowl. Using your hands, separate the yolks from the whites and place yolks into a medium bowl. Add the 1/2 Cup sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until smooth and blended. Set aside for later.
At this time, the cream mixture with the vanilla bean should begin to simmer. Keep the flame low and avoid boiling. The goal here is to steep the vanilla bean to leech out the intense flavor into the cream.
Prepare your baking vessels and dishes. Creme brulees will need to be baked in a hot water bath. This is why you placed a big stock pot of water in high flame earlier in the recipe. You also need clean and dry ceramic ramekins. Arrange them in your pan to ensure even cooking.
After roughly twenty minutes, remove vanilla bean cream from the heat. Pull out the empty vanilla bean pod halves. Let stand for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. This will help in the rapid cooling of the cream.
Slowly, add the warmed cream to the egg/sugar mixture, whisking constantly. This is called tempering . You want to ensure you do not add the warm cream too much too fast. If you do, you’ll end up curdling the egg/sugar mixture. You don’t want to scramble the egg mixture.
Once you have brought up the temperature of the egg mixture, you can then pour the egg mixture into a measuring cup. This is help when pouring the mixture into the ramekins.
Very carefully, pour this mixture into the ceramic ramekins. The ramekins I used here hold about five ounces of liquid. I poured about 4 and a half ounces of mixture into each ramekin. Once all ramekins were filled, I poured the boiling water from the large pot into the baking dish. This ensured that the ramekins were submerged, just below the bottom edge of the outer rim of the ramekin.
Baking times will vary by ovens – so be prepared to adjust according to your own oven. When working in the restaurant, I used a beast of an oven. So at 325*F, I would bake these creme brulees for 45 minutes.
From this experience, I ended up baking them an additional fifteen minutes (total baking time was one hour). You can tell when they are done by shaking the ramekins gently. The baked custard should wiggle but stay firm. If it is too loose, then continue baking.
Remove the ramekins from the hot water baths and set them aside. Place them into the refrigerator to cool. For the most part, it should take between one to two hours to cool completely. When you are ready to serve, put a teaspoon of white granulated sugar on top of the custard. Shake the ramekin gently to ensure even coating over the entire surface of the custard. Light your torch and caramelize the sugar. Take care consideration when torching the sugar; you do not want to burn the sugar.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Until next time…FORKTHISPLATE!