Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Crème Brûlée

Servings: 6
Crème Brûlée

Pronounced: [krehm broo-LAY]
The literal translation of this rich dessert is "burnt cream." It describes a chilled, stirred custard that, just before serving, is sprinkled with brown or granulated sugar. The sugar topping is quickly caramelized under a broiler or with a salamander. The caramelized topping becomes brittle, creating a delicious flavor and textural contrast to the smooth, creamy custard beneath.

From The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition 1995, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

Creme Brulee' originated in Cambridge, England, according to Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. It is an elegant dessert that can be dressed-up in many different ways. You can add fresh fruit on the side or add 1 teaspoon of ground ginger when heating the cream to create a Ginger Creme Brulee.

2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar

In a one-quart saucepan over medium heat, heat cream until tiny bubbles form around the edge. DO NOT BOIL. In a heavy two-quart saucepan, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks with sugar until blended; slowly stir small amounts of the hot cream into egg mixture. This combines the two without raising the temperature of the eggs to rapidly, this can cause the eggs to turn into scrambled egg brulee.

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon well (about 15 minutes). Be very careful not to boil the mixture or it will curdle. Stir in vanilla extract.

Pour cream mixture into six 3 to 4 ounce heat-safe ramekins or custard dishes. Refrigerate until custard is well chilled (at least 1 hour).

About one hour before serving, preheat broiler. Place brown sugar in a small sieve; with a spoon, press the sugar through the sieve over the top of the chilled custard. Broil for 2-3 minutes until the sugar just melts. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The sugar will form a crisp crust over the custard. Keep in mind that if the sugar crust is made too early in the day, the sugar with become moist and soft, thus losing its crispness.

Serve as is, or with fresh fruit (such as fresh raspberries,or strawberries) or a fruit sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: February 27, 2002