We’ll let you in on a pastry chef’s dirty little secret. crème brûlée isn’t as hard to master as it looks. This fool-proof method doesn’t require blow torches, fancy mixers, or hours in the kitchen. All you need is six ingredients, a few minutes of prep time, and someone to share it with. Indulge your senses with this creamy, crunchy, and sweet dessert in celebration of Valentine’s Day, or any day for that matter!
Try it at Home
2 c. heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
5 large egg yolks at room temperature
½ c. sugar, plus more for topping
6 c. water
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, combine cream, vanilla bean, and salt. Cook over medium heat until hot, but do not boil. Let sit for a few minutes and then discard the vanilla bean. If using vanilla extract, add it now.
Beat egg yolks and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl until light and fluffy. Stir about one quarter of the cream mixture and whisk. Pour remaining sugar-egg mixture into the cream and stir. Pour into six-ounce ramekins and place them in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Fill dish with boiling water halfway up the sides of each ramekin and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until barely set. Cool completely and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to serve, top each custard with a teaspoon of sugar in a thin layer and place the ramekins under the broiler. Cook until the sugar melts and caramelizes.