Crème Brulée

There is, perhaps, no finer dessert than a well made Crème Brulée.  It is not easy, yet not difficult.  Best described as a tempramental recipe, once you have it mastered, your whole life will change for the better.

Maybe that's an overstatement - but, you will find yourself hoarding the last few, telling friends and family that you're all out.  Trust me.  Been there, done that.

the crème anglaise: Place the cream, vanilla, and maple syrup in a large pot.Bring just to a simmer and remove from heat.

Whisk the egg yolks and 2/3 cup of sugar together until foamy and lemon yellow in color. Whisk in hot cream and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Chill completely in an ice-bath. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator over night.

bake the custards:  Pre-heat a conventional oven to 300° F. Ladle 6 oz of custard mix into each ramekin. Set 12 ramekins into each full hotel pan. Add warm water to the pans to come half way up on ramekins. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake 75 minutes to 1 ½ hours. Rotate and spin the pan 45 minutes through. Start checking after 70 minutes. When ready, the custards, when jiggled, will wiggle, but not ripple. Fill a glass with water and shake (the glass) to see what a ripple is.

Remove the pan from the oven and take off the aluminum foil. Leave the custards in the water bath until cool. Take out of pan and refrigerate until chilled.

crust and serve: When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over each custard. Spread evenly over top by using fingers, or by shaking, tilting, and rotating from side to side. Ignite the torch and hold above the custard so flame is at a 45° angle and the tip is just touching the sugar. Move the flame over the sugar as it begins to caramelize. Do not be afraid to slightly burn the sugar. Allow to cool slightly and serve on a plate garnished with berries and a mint sprig if you wish. At IL Sole, we also garnish with house-made ginger snaps.


Main Ingredients:
Heavy Cream
3 1/3 cup
½ tsp
Maple Syrup
1/3 cup
Egg Yolks
8 each
2/3 cup

6 - 6oz servings
This recipe is easiest on the stress level if started three days before needed. Make the crème anglaise on day one, bake the custards on day two, and crust them just before serving on day three.

These custards will hold in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.

Serve this with some chilled Gewürztraminer.  Yes, a very sweet white wine, with floral overtones.  The sweets of both cancel each other out, leaving the wine to taste like flowers.  Simply amazing.

Low-Fat Options:
Low-fat Crème Brulée?  Not going to happen.  Why don't you get yourself a nice puffed rice cake?