Creamy, vanilla bean custard with a crisp, caramelized sugar top. This Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee is a beautiful, delectable dessert!
For a while, I have been wanting to make creme brulee at home. But, I thought I needed a blow torch, and didn’t have one.
I have nothing against having a blow torch, but had concerns about me using one. My coordination can sometimes leave something to be desired, so the idea of me with a device that throws out fire seemed like it could be problematic.
But, I realized that I could make creme brulee with the broiler in the oven. So, problem solved.
Later on, I did decide to get a little torch. And guess what? It’s been totally fine. I might even start torching more food….
Creme brulee is an elegant, beautiful dessert. So, you might think it would be difficult to make. But it is NOT! It is actually super easy. I love to make it at home now because it’s not time consuming, it looks impressive, and most importantly, tastes phenomenal.
You can make creme brulee in any number of flavors. My hands down favorite: vanilla bean. For this recipe, I use vanilla bean paste as it’s less expensive than vanilla beans, takes less time, and tastes delicious.
If you don’t have paste, you can use a whole vanilla bean instead. Just simmer it in the milk for about 10 minutes, then remove the bean.
For this recipe you can use almost any type of five to six ounce oven safe ramekin. However, for the best ratio of sugar topping to custard, use a shallow dish.
Also, depending on the shape and depth of dish you use, the baking time may vary. Keep this in mind and watch your custard closely when it’s in the oven.
Do not skip the cooling time. It is critical that the custard is completely cool before broiling or firing the sugar. If the custard is not cool, you can end up with a soupy mess.
Caramelizing the Sugar
To caramelize the sugar you can do one of two things:
- Place the ramekins in the oven under the broiler until the sugar turns golden brown. The closer the ramekin to the broiler, the better. If it is too far away, it will take longer to brown the sugar, and custard may get a little soupy.
- Brown the sugar with a torch. This is my prefered way as it is quicker, and therefore leaves the custard at a cool temperature.
This Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee is a beautiful, addictively delicious dessert that will be a star of any meal!
Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar plus 4 teaspoons sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small pot over low heat, stir together whipping cream and salt. Heat until very warm, but not boiling. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla bean paste.
- Use electric mixer to beat egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar until lightened, about 4 minutes.
- With mixer on low speed, VERY slow pour heated cream into eggs.
- Divide mixture evenly among four 5-6 ounce sized shallow ramekins.
- Place ramekins in an oven safe baking dish. Fill dish with warm water until water is about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until custard is set but center just barely jiggles. NOTE: Baking time will vary depending on shape/depth of ramekins.
- Remove ramekins from water and let cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Then transfer ramekins to refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours.
- Before serving, remove ramekins from refrigerator and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar evenly over the top of each custard.
- To caramelize the sugar, you can use a blow torch, or place the ramekins on the top rack of your oven on broil.
Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided on this website is an estimate only and is not guaranteed.
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