It’s spring break and my mother is visiting! As a result, in the next 8 days, my house will get cleaned, all my closets will get organized, half my stuff will get thrown away, I will spend a lot of money buying new stuff, and I will gain at least 10 pounds.
We have crème brûlée for breakfast, sugar cookies for lunch, and daiquiris for dinner.
What more could a person want in life?
First for the crème brûlée. This is so easy, I’m afraid I might eat nothing else for the rest of my life. Just 4 ingredients and about 10 minutes of work. I used several other recipes for inspiration including this one, this one, and this one and eventually settled on the proportions below. My mother wanted it a little sweeter. I thought it was perfect. Decide for yourselves, but the short answer is that with this much cream, sugar, and vanilla, you can’t really go wrong.
Apparently though, you can eat it wrong. I always crack the sugar in the middle. My mother, upset by the last picture in this post, insists you must always start at the edge. Help us settle the debate.
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup sugar plus extra for the topping
- 8 egg yolks
- Oven safe ramekins
- kitchen blow torch
- Split the vanilla bean open and scrape out the seeds. Put the whole bean and all the seeds in a medium saucepan with the cream.
- Heat the cream and vanilla bean over medium low heat for a few minutes. You want to just simmer it so that the cream soaks up all the vanilla flavor.
- In the meantime, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until they turn light yellow in color.
- Fish the vanilla bean out of the cream and set it aside.
- Slowly, VERY slowly, while whisking your egg yolks, use a measuring cup to ladle in the cream. As the egg mixture warms up, you can add the cream faster. Just make sure you don’t scramble your eggs.
- Strain your custard into ramekins. (Mine were all different sizes because I didn’t have enough that matched and it was fine. Most recipes recommend 6 but I think my small ones are the perfect size and I would have needed 8 of those.)
- Place the ramekins in a larger pan and place in the oven. Pour hot water into the larger pan until it comes half way up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.
- Let them cool on the counter for about 30 minutes, then cover and place them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Spread a thin layer of sugar over each ramekin and use your blow torch to caramelize the sugar. Make sure you keep the flame moving all the time so you brown it evenly. If you don’t go fast enough, the custard will get hot. (Worst case scenario, put it back in the freezer after you burn the sugar and let the custard get cold again.)
- Eat with abandon.