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Creme Brulee picture

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee translates as "burnt cream", but that description doesn't do this creamy custard with the crisp sugar topping justice. This is a classic and can be made up to 2 days ahead.

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  • 2 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus about 3 tablespoons extra for broiling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 7 egg yolks
  • Special equipment:
  • 8 6-ounce ramekins

Serves 8

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. Put the ramekins in a baking pan that’s at least 2 inches deep and large enough to give the ramekins about 1/2-inch clearance all the way around.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine the cream, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and the vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes. (Watch it as it boils over easily.) Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks until liquid, and then very slowly ladle in the cream mixture while constantly whisking (pouring too fast will result in scrambled eggs.)
  5. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a jug or bowl with a spout. Carefully fill the ramekins nearly to the top with the custard.
  6. Fill the baking pan with warm water until it reaches about one-half of the way up the sides of the ramekins.
  7. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the custard is just set.  Test for doneness by jiggling the ramekins - the custard should just barely move in the center.  Some ramekins may cook more quickly than others; remove them as they become cooked.  (Note:  If they aren't cooked after 45 minutes, don't worry.  Just keep checking every few minutes and remove them when they are almost set.)
  8. Allow the creme brulees to cool at room temperature, and then cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days.
  9. When ready to serve, evenly sprinkle 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard, reaching all the way to the rims.
  10. Brown the sugar with a kitchen blowtorch, or place the custards on a tray and broil them for 2 minutes or until the sugar  browns and bubbles.  (You might have to turn the tray so they brown evenly.)  Serve immediately.

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