Friday, January 14, 2011

Crème Brûlée

Sometimes I make dessert.  And sometimes I choose desserts that have 10 egg yolks and 1 quart of heavy cream in them.  

Scot gets kind of annoyed that I will only eat the fattiest ice cream on the planet.  He wants a less guilty ice cream.  So he can eat more than a tablespoon.  So, I kept the ingredients list of this creme brulee on the DL.  Actually, for real, I told him.  And told him I saved him all the egg whites so he can enjoy egg white omelets.  That helped.  

These were real good.  And I have a secret.  So, I only have 4 of the dishes pictured above (totally should have halved the recipe btw).   After filling my four regular creme brulee dishes, I put the rest in three deeper, not as ideal ramekins.  These deeper dishes had more in them, but also weren't as submerged in the water and basically seemed to break all the rules.  I didn't worry about it because I figured four was more than enough and if those three were ruined, it might be for the better. Anyways, they weren't set when I took the regular four out of the oven...but I took them all out anyways.  Then, I had to turn  the oven down to 275 for the beef tacos I was making.  I just threw the three big ones in the oven with the beef, no water bath, no nothing.  And I kept them in there for about an hour (!!!).  They turned out just as creamy and delicious (don't worry, we didn't eat them all).  So, even though creme brulee seems intimidating, I think it isn't as straight laced as you might think.  

Crème Brûlée
from Pioneer Woman Cooks

1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
10 egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

First, pour the cream into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the vanilla bean or vanilla extract. Bring almost to a boil, then turn off the heat.

Place egg yolks in a large bowl and add the 3/4 cup sugar. With a whisk, mix the eggs and sugar together. Now, break out your elbow grease and take a deep breath. You’re going to need to whisk the mixture like crazy for a good 3 or 4 minutes, until it’s very light yellow in color. This kills my arm every time, and I usually have to stop and take a few breathers along the way. Consider this your exercise for the day.

Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the hot cream into the bowl through the strainer. This will filter out the tiny bits of vanilla bean. To temper the egg mixture, very slowly drizzle 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg/sugar mixture, whisking constantly and vigorously to prevent the eggs from cooking. Continue adding the rest of the hot cream to the bowl very slowly, whisking constantly. You can add the cream a little more rapidly as the mixture warms.

Place 6 ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and ladle in the custard until the ramekins are three-quarters full. Place the pan inside the oven, then pour water into the baking sheet until it reaches halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard is set but not brown. Watch carefully to avoid browning.

Remove the ramekins from the pan and allow to cool. Refrigerate the custards, covered, for at least 2 hours or overnight. When you are ready to serve dessert, sprinkle the top of each custard generously with 1 tablespoon superfine sugar. Use a kitchen torch to burn the sugar to a crisp, working quickly to avoid cooking the custard below. Serve immediately with spoons. Prepare yourself for moans and groans.

(Servings: 6, Prep time: 30 min., Cook time: 40 min., Difficulty: Intermediate)

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  9/10
Scot (taste):  8/10
Effort:  4/5
Dishwashing Effort:  3/5

1 comment:

  1. Desserts with that much heavy cream and that many egg yolks have to be amazing. It's a rule. I know. I live by it all too often.

    these look amazing!