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Crème Brulee - With or Without the Torch

If you make it at home, no one can stop you from eating the whole batch.

This is a very rich but elegant dessert.  It was voted two years ago by one of the leading food magazines the most popular restaurant dessert.  If you have never had it…it’s worth the time to make it…you will LOVE it!

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks

1/3 cup white sugar

2 ½ cups heavy cream

1 tablespoon vanilla or one split vanilla bean, using on the seeds

3 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)

Six ramekins, small glazed ceramic or glass serving bowls that can go from refrigerator to oven.

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. 

Using a mixer at medium speed, beat the egg yolks and white sugar in a bowl and set aside. 

In a pan, bring the cream to a boil but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil out of the pan.  Cream heats up very quickly!

Remove from heat and add the egg sugar mixture, beating the entire time.  Add the cream very slowly or you will end up with scrambled eggs! 

Add the vanilla and continue to beat until the mixture is cool. 

Pour into six 4-ounce oven-proof ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a large bread or lasagne pan and add warm water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cups. 

Bake for 50 minutes, then remove the ramekins and allow to cool to room temp.  Refrigerate until chilled (cover with plastic wrap so they do not pick up refrigerator odors). 

When chilled, evenly spread about ½ tablespoon of sugar on each up.  If you have a crème brulee torch or a butane torch, you can burn the top of the ramekins until the sugar darkens and forms a crust.  If you do not have a torch, place the cups on a pan lined with parchment paper and place under a preheated broiler until the sugar melts and darkens, forming a crust. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve but make sure they are chilled thoroughly and the custard has setup. 

You can use white granulated sugar to coat the top.  This will give you a redder crust.  The brown sugar will give you a dark fudge colored crust.

I usually make this hours ahead of time (or even one day in advance) to give it time to set up properly. 

This recipe serves 6. Or one.

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