When I told my husband that I was making creme brûlée for my secret recipe club assignment, he nearly swooned. If you have been following Dishing the Divine for a while (and God bless you if you have… man, we’ve been through a lot together! ) then you already know my hilarious creme brûlée story. You also know that I don’t like creme brûlée. Sometimes being a good wife means making something special just for the hubby. So, while this makes creme brûlée for two, in our house it really is just creme brûlée for one, served twice.
This recipe comes compliments of Fried Ice and Donut Holes, one of my fellow Secret Recipe Club bloggers. Melissa started her blog at the exact same time that I started mine, so I guess we’re blogging sisters! Melissa and I also seem to have similar perspectives on our blogs: they are a great way to share recipes with our friends and family, but, better yet, they’re a fabulous way to keep all our recipes in one place so that we can access them no matter where we are. If you’re like me, you are wondering where Melissa got such a strange name for her blog. The answer is so cute! I’ll let you read it for yourself.
I decided that Cook’s Illustrated’s method for making creme brûlée may be a bit more involved but would result in more even results. The main difference in the two cooking methods is that Cook’s Illustrated suggests boiling the cream and sugar before putting the custard in the oven. This ensures that the sugar is completely dissolved into the cream mixture and does not sink to the bottom of the custard. They also recommend cooking the custard at a lower temperature and for a shorter time. I love recipes that involve using a thermometer to determine doneness since descriptions with color and jiggle-factor don’t really make sense to my very mathematical brain. I appreciate it when Cook’s Illustrated includes these details.
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine the cream and 1/4 sugar in a medium saucepan and bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves. Take pan off heat, add the vanilla, and let cool 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Place two ramekins in an 8x8 or similarly sized oven-safe container.
- After the cream has cooled a bit, whisk the yolks in a large bowl until broken up. Whisk the cream mixture into the yolks until combined. Divide the mixture among the ramekins.
- Carefully place the baking dish with the ramekins on oven rack; pour boiling water into the baking dish, taking care not to splash water into the ramekins, until the water reaches two-thirds height of the ramekins. Bake until centers of custards are just barely set and are no longer sloshy and digital instant-read thermometer inserted in centers registers 170 to 175 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes (25 to 30 minutes for shallow fluted dishes). Begin checking temperature about 5 minutes before recommended time.
- Transfer ramekins to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Set ramekins on rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
- Uncover ramekins; if condensation has collected on custards, place a paper towel on the surface to soak up moisture. Sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon sugar (1 1/2 teaspoons for shallow fluted dishes); tilt and tap ramekin for even coverage. Ignite torch and caramelize sugar. Refrigerate ramekins, uncovered, to re-chill, 30 to 45 minutes (but no longer); serve.