Crème Brûlée is one of the worlds most famous and seductive desserts. Its status is well deserved -delicious, sophisticated, and elegant, there are few people who can resist it.
Serves 4-6 depending on ramekin size
Julia Child believed that every woman should own a blowtorch. If you’ve lucky enough to have one, it will come in handy for this easy crème brulee recipe.
The crispy, burnt sugar is the best part of this easy and delicious creme brulee. The allure of creme brulee, French for “burnt cream,” is in the textural contrast between the brittle caramelized topping and the smooth, creamy custard beneath. Breaking through crème brûlée’s crispy caramelized top into a thick creamy custard base is pure bliss. Egg yolks and heavy cream gives this classic recipe its silky, rich quality that’s like no other dessert.
For this crème brûlée we paired Lavender and Vanilla two flavor pairings that marry well, both have a strong personality, but neither outshines the other. The lavender taste is subtle so as to not overwhelm or diminish the vanilla base, however, it adds just that extra depth of delicate floral flavor. Be sure to use culinary lavender, I recommend French lavender which is available at William Sonoma, Whole Foods, Sprouts and many other online stores.
1 tablespoon culinary lavender
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup superfine sugar
4-6 tablespoons Turbinado sugar a.k.a. sugar in the raw (see note)
Place the cream, lavender vanilla bean and its pulp into a small saucepan saucepan set over medium-high heat and slowly bring almost to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to stand, covered with plastic wrap touching the cream for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350℉ (180℃)
In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Reheat the cream then gradually mix into the yolks a little at a time, stirring continually.
Place 4-6 (6oz) ramekins in roasting pan or baking pan. Strain through a sieve and pour the custard into the ramekins. Pour warm water around the dishes to come halfway up the sides and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the custards are set but the center still giggly.
Leave the dishes to cool in the water, then lift them out and transfer to the refrigerator for 3-4 hours to chill well.
20 minutes before serving sprinkle the custard tops with the turbinado sugar. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.