Crème Brulée

2 cups heavy cream

5 egg yolks

11 tablespoons (approximately) sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

4 ramekins or wide custard cups, approximately ¾ cup each

1 roasting pan

a blowtorch or a broiler

Preheat the oven to 325°.

  1. In a saucepan, over a medium heat, scald the cream.
  2. While the cream is heating, whisk the yolks and THREE tablespoons of sugar together until the yolks get a bit thick.  Add in the vanilla.
  3. When the cream is scalded, using a wooden spoon, SLOWLY stir it into the yolks.  When it’s all combined, pour the mixture through a strainer into a pitcher (to get rid of any heated egg bits). Pour the mixture into the four ramekins.
  4. Place the ramekins into the roasting pan, and add hot water to the pan to come half-way up the sides of the ramekins.  Place in the oven, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until they’re just set, but still jiggle in the middle, and a skin starts to form on the top of the custard.  Remove from the oven and the pan.  The custard will still be liquidy.
  5. Cool the ramekins on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes, and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours, but overnight is okay too.
  6. 10 minutes before serving the crème brulée, sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops of the custard.  That is, approximately two tablespoons per ramekin.

To caramelize the sugar:

Method #1:  With a hardware store propane or butane torch, carefully point the flame directly onto the sugar.  In moments, it will start to bubble and turn brown.  Do this to the whole top of the custard.  Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.  By then, the sugared top will be crunchy.

Method #2: Carefully place the ramekins under a cold broiler, with the rack at the highest level. Turn on the broiler, then keep them in the oven until the sugar turns brown.  Do not let the custard get hot and start to cook.  Remove from broiler. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.  By then, the sugared top will be crunchy.