I recently purchased one of those adorable little kitchen torches, however, it's still in the upper appliance cabinet. Today, I must test drive it on Crème Brûlée. What's not to like about a luxurious, creamy, decadent dessert using egg yolks, cream and sugar to their best advantage. Oh my goodness! What a happy dessert day. Besides, it's holiday time and my guys will love this fanciful dessert. Now where are my eggs...
1 cup whole milk
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large whole eggs
3 large egg yolks
Hot water for bain-marie
Sugar for garnish
Kitchen torch (oh boy)
Add the milk and cream to a pot, split the vanilla bean, scrape out the inside with the back of a knife and add it in. Drop in the pod to steep in the liquid for extra flavor. Add the salt and sugar and mix well. Bring to a simmer, dissolving the sugar. Beat the eggs and egg yolks well and when the milk/creme comes to the appropriate heat (do not boil, just a gentle simmer) retrieve about 1/2 cup of the liquid and slowly add to the eggs to temper. Remove the pot from the heat and add the egg mixture to the milk/cream in a small stream, stirring all the while. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl with a lip and pour into custard cups or Crème Brûlée dishes. Place the cups into a large baking pan and put into a preheated 325 degree oven.
Note: It's safer to pour in the hot water after the baking pan has been placed on an oven rack.
Add the hot water to the pan until it reaches half-way up the cups. Slide the little beauties into the oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes. The custard should be slightly wobbly, but set. Remove each cup very carefully to a rack to cool. After they have cooled, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 to 6 hours.
Just before serving, sprinkle about a heaping teaspoon of sugar over the surface of each custard and dissolve with a kitchen torch or under the broiler. The sugar should be a golden caramel color with slightly burned spots. Allow the sugar to cool for a couple of minutes, serve and crack open one of the best desserts known to man. Yum!
|Custard cups in a baking pan|
|Heating the milk and creme perfumed with vanilla seeds and pod|
|Beat the eggs well|
|Be very sure to include the straining step, this is why|
|Strained custard ready to pour|
|And into the little cups|
|Those little specks, vanilla|
|All filled and ready for the hot water ~ My little holiday candle was making me feel festive|
|Out of the oven...hanging out on the old butcher block|
|A thing of beauty...|
|...that won't last very long.|
|Oh, yes I did!|