One of the most classic French desserts. Often served with fruit compote, cake, or ice cream.
Traditionally, it is considered a somewhat difficult recipe as both steps in the recipe are temperature sensitive. With temperature-controlled cooking, it gets much easier to make this delicious dessert.
3 dl Heavy cream 38%
1 dl Whole milk, 3.5 % fat
4 pcs. Egg yolk
75 gram Sugar
0.5 pcs. Vanilla pod
50 gram Sugar
Prepare the cream
Combine heavy cream, whole milk, egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan.Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add both the grains and the empty pod into the pan and whisk it all together.Set the temperature to 80 ºC. Stir in the beginning to bring the cream together and extract the flavour from the vanilla pod. The cream shouldn’t thicken, just be warmed and homogeneous. Put the lid on and leave the cream to cook at 80 ºC for 10 minutes.
Cook the cream in a water bath
The custard must be cooked in a water bath to set and thicken it.Pour the cream into 5 small heatproof ramekins or bowls that can just contain 100 ml. Place the bowls in a 28 cm pan. If you use a 28 cm pan, there should be room for all 5 bowls, if you use a 24 cm pan there is only room for 3. Heat the pan to 95 °C and pour water in the pan between the bowls. The water should go up on the ramekins as far as the cream does. Cover the ramekins with a piece of aluminum foil or baking parchment to prevent condensation dripping from the lid into the custards. Put the lid on.Cook the custards for 30 minutes.Remove the lid and foil. Be careful when you lift it off so that water does not run off into the cream. If it does, then let the custard cool completely before pouring the water off. Cover each bowl to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You can easily make the custards the day before if you are entertaining.
Sprinkle each portion with 1-2 teaspoons of sugar. As thin a layer as possible, otherwise it is difficult to caramelize.Use a gas burner to melt and caramelize the sugar. Stop a little before you think it is done, as it will keep on heating for a little while after you remove the flame.Start with the edges. If you start in the middle, it might burn before the edge has taken colour
You often see creme brulee served in shallow, flat dishes. This is a poor idea for two reasons. One is that you get too much caramel to custard, making the dessert too sweet. Two, it's difficult to prepare the custards in a water bath without getting water in the custard. This recipe uses ramekins, where the external dimensions are 8.5 cm in diameter and 4 cm high. When filled to the brim, they can hold 1.5 dl of liquid.