Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée

This classic créme brûlée might seem complex, but is actually pretty simple to prepare—all you need are eggs, cream, and sugar.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Gather the ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 F.
  2. Step 2

    Using a small sharp knife, split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape out the seeds with the blade's dull edge.
  3. Step 3

    Put the cream in a medium saucepan with the vanilla bean and seeds or 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and stir to blend. Bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cover the pan, and set aside to steep for about 10 minutes. If you are using vanilla extract, you can skip this steeping time.
  4. Step 4

    Arrange 6 (4-ounce) ramekins in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.
  5. Step 5

    If the cream has cooled, bring it back to a simmer and remove the vanilla bean.
  6. Step 6

    Meanwhile, in a medium, heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and salt until well blended.
  7. Step 7

    While whisking the egg yolk mixture continuously, slowly add about 3/4 cup of the hot cream. Gradually whisk the remaining hot cream into the tempered egg and cream mixture until well blended.
  8. Step 8

    To ensure a smooth texture, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.
  9. Step 9

    Divide the custard mixture evenly among the six ramekins.
  10. Step 10

    Carefully add about 1 inch of boiling water to the baking pan, or enough to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. The bain-marie surrounds the ramekins, ensuring gentle, even heat. Place the pan in the preheated oven, taking care to avoid sloshing water onto the custards. Bake the crème brûlée in the pre heated 325 F oven for about 35 to 40 minutes. If you are using shallow ramekins, check on them after about 30 minutes. The custards should be soft-set with some jiggle when moved. If using an instant-read thermometer, look for a temperature of around 170 F to 175 F.
  11. Step 11

    Cool the custards for about 45 minutes to an hour on a cooling rack.
  12. Step 12

    Place cooled custards on a baking dish or baking sheet and cover them loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to two to three days.
  13. Step 13

    When it's time to serve the crème brûlée, remove a ramekin from the refrigerator and sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of sugar over the top (about 2 teaspoons for a wider, shallow ramekin); shake it lightly to spread the sugar as evenly as possible. Repeat with the remaining ramekins or as many as you plan to serve.
  14. Step 14

    Up to 30 minutes before serving, caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch , constantly moving it in a circular motion as the sugar darkens. The melted, caramelized sugar will form a hard, candy-like top within 2 to 3 minutes.