We’re making creme brûlée next – break out your torches! Posting date is March 16.
Classic Creme Brûlée with Caramelized Brown Sugar
Yield: 4 servings
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
6 large egg yolks
1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
1⁄8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place four 6-ounce ramekins in a small roasting pan or large, high-sided baking pan.
Pour the heavy cream into a medium saucepan. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and, using the tip of a knife or a small spoon, scrape the seeds into the cream. Add the split vanilla bean pod and stir. Heat the cream to just below a boil (bubbles will form around the perimeter of the pan), turn off the heat, and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt. Keep whisking until the mixture is well combined and begins to lighten in color, but do not over mix. Pour a small amount of the heavy cream into the egg yolk mixture while stirring (not whisking). Continue to add the cream, a little at a time, until it is incorporated. Push the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a pourable glass measuring cup or bowl.
Divide the mixture equally among the ramekins, filling almost to the top. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the custards are set on the edge but still wobbly in the middle. Remove the ramekins from the water, let cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate least 4 hours or overnight.
Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator at least 15 minutes prior to serving. Sprinkle each ramekin with the brown sugar and use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar and create a smooth top. Wait a few minutes for the sugar to become crisp, and serve.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.