A Sweet Treat for Mom

May 9, 2017

Wow your mom this weekend by making her Crème Brulee for a Mother’s Day treat!

Credit Jennifer Chandler

There is nothing more delicious than a creamy custard topped with a crunchy layer of caramelized sugar. With just five ingredients, you will be shocked at how easy this popular “restaurant” dessert is to make at home.

Here are a few tips to help you master this classic dessert.

Use a wide, shallow ramekin. This will ensure that the custard bakes evenly and that you have the perfect sugar to custard ratio in every bite.

Heavy cream and egg yolks are a must. This dish is meant to be a rich and creamy.  There are no low-fat short-cuts.

Crème brulees are baked in a hot water bath to retain their silky-smooth texture. I recommend waiting until the ramekins are in a pan in the oven before pouring boiling water into the pan. This reduces the chance of getting water in your custard. Try using a tea kettle to heat and add the hot water for a more controlled pour.

The custards are set when they are firm when gently shaken. If you are uncertain, you can test the custard by poking the tip of a knife into it. The custard is ready when the knife comes out clean.

White granulated sugar is what you need.  Do not pull out fancy sugars.  This pantry staple caramelizes better than raw or brown sugars.

A kitchen blowtorch is a must for a perfectly even caramel topping.  Affordable and a good investment - torches are available at most kitchen supply shops for about $20.

The custards can be baked the day before. Wait until the last minute to caramelize the sugar on top or the crust will loose its crunch.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy Mother’s Day!

Crème Brulee

  • 4 cups (1 quart) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar, plus extra for the tops of the custards
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large saucepot over medium-high heat, warm the heavy cream until just below the boiling point. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large heat-proof bowl, stir the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and liqueur together until just blended. Gradually stir in the hot cream and until the sugar has dissolved. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into 8 6- to 8-ounce oven-proof ramekins.

Arrange the ramekins in a roasting pan with at least 2-inch sides. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven. Very carefully pour enough hot water around the ramekins to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Slide the rack into the oven, being careful not to slosh water onto the custards. Bake until the custards are set, about 1 hour. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and chill in the refrigerator until set, at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar evenly across the tops of each of the chilled custards. Heat the sugar with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar caramelizes evenly.

Serves 8.

Cooking Tip; For a classic vanilla crème brulee, you can omit the orange liqueur and add 1 additional teaspoon of vanilla instead.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Simply Suppers by Jennifer Chandler.