Comforting Creme Brulee

This is exquisite stuff.

It is quite simple to make.

It helps to have a propane torch.

It’s the ever so French, crème brûlée.

It is silky smooth, gentle of taste, quivery and crunchy.

It is like most things French, an anomaly. The opposites join in bliss.

This is my favorite recipe, and it is from Joy of Cooking.


  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 8 lg egg yolks or three lg eggs
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • sugar or brown sugar for the glaze


  1. Heat the cream in a sauce pan until just barely simmering.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir the eggs with the sugar until blended.
  3. Slowly, and carefully add the cream to the eggs, stirring as you go.
  4. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl with a pouring lip.
  5. Stir in the vanilla
  6. Pour into 6-8 custard cups or ramekins, and place in a water bath.
  7. Set the pan in the oven and turn on the oven to 250°.
  8. Bake for 1 1/2 hours until custards are set but still quivery.
  9. Remove from water bath and cool to room temp and then cover with Saran wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days, but at least 8 hours. Blot away any water droplets that form on the top before proceeding to the glaze.
  10. Method one: (Can be applied up to 12 hours in advance of serving) Measure 2/3 c of sugar into a saucepan and drizzle 1/4 c water over. Swirl the pan over medium heat, without stirring, until a clear syrup forms–it must clarify before boiling. Once it has, raise the heat, bring to a boil, cover and boil for 2 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the mixture darkens. Swirl, and continue until it turns a deep amber. Dip the bottom of the pan in cold water for 2 seconds. Spoon a tablespoon immediately of the caramel over custard and tilt to cover. Do remaining custards. Cool again if it continues to darken while you are doing each custard, or reheat a bit if it gets too thick to pour. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  11. Method two: (must be applied within an hour of serving) Adjust oven rack so that custards will be within 2 inches of the broiler element. Preheat the broiler for 10 minutes. Measure 1/3 c light granulated brown sugar or sugar placed through a sieve to fluff it up. Divide among the custards, evening with finger. Place on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until the sugar melts and bubbles. It will be uneven. Serve immediately.
  12. Method three: Sprinkle evening over each custard 1 1/2- 2 teaspoons of sugar. Use a propane torch, and carefully hold the flame about 2 inches from the surface, rotating as the sugar melts and darkens. Serve no more than 1 hour after.

Serves: 6-8

NOTE: You can vary this recipe with other flavorings besides vanilla.

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