Créme Brûlèe

Gary L. Baker, Esq., MT

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Less Than Half Hour Actual Work; About $6 Makes 8 Servings


Basic Recipe: 2 C Half & Half    3 Eggs     2 tbs. + 6 tbs. Sugar     Pinch Salt

Optional:     1/2 tsp. Almond Extract    1/4 C Ground Almonds    Etc.

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The simplest of recipes.   The only change I have made to the classic recipe here is elimination of the requirement that the créme brûlèe be baked sitting in a pan of water.

Beat the eggs, half and half, salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl with a wisk.  Add the almonds and almond extract, if you like.  

crust1.jpg (305250 bytes) If you want a liquid caramel on the bottom of the créme brûlèe (like in Mexican flan), use a blow torch to melt and brown a teaspoon or two of sugar on the bottom of the baking dish.  I received brûlèe dishes as a gift.  Before that, I used to use those little stainless steel dishes Asian Indians use for curry and chutney side dishes.  The bowls must be heat resistant because otherwise they will be easily broken by the torch.  In a pinch, I have cooked the créme brûlèe in a small Pyrex bowl or pan. 

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Fill the cooking containers about 2/3 full and place on a cookie sheet to bake in the oven at 275°F for about 50 minutes.  The créme brûlèe is done when the centers have raised, or when a toothpick comes out clean.  [Alternately, the brûlèe can be baked with the dishes sitting in a pan of water at about 300°F for about 40 minutes.]   


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cremecarm.jpg (63297 bytes) Just before eating, a little less than a tablespoon of granulated sugar can be spread across the top of the créme custard and flame burned into a caramel with a propane torch.  



- Dishes of cooked custard not eaten right away can be stored without the sugar toping in the refrigerator for a couple of days before water starts to separate out.  

- I like to add a teaspoon of maple syrup to my créme brûlèe just before digging in. 

- Full cream can be used instead of half and half, but I find it comes out a little greasy for my taste.  

- Any number of spices and/or chopped nuts and fruit can be added to the basic recipe.  Here, I suggest ground almonds.  Alternately, try chopped cashews, raisins, apples, etc. 

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