Home Made Creme Brulee
Some might call this custard "crema catalana";
and, when it is topped with the singed-sugar surface & presented in porcelain ramekins,
"creme brulee". I first ate this treat about 1988 in Orlando and instantly remembered this
taste in NYC, below. My favorite use is to make a batch of the custard, keep it in the
refrigerator (might "keep" a week or so), and...when I wish...spoon together a layered
mixture of the custard and blueberries in something like a parfait glass. I first encountered
the custard & this fruit-custard mix at the Sunlight Cafe in New York City (on a U. S.
Open trip) about 1985 & never thereafter. The following presumes pasteurization of cream
(so, no need to scald).
- 8-10 egg yolks
(have a ratio of no fewer than 2 per cup of cream)
- 4 cups (1 qt) of
heavy whipping cream (8 or more % fat...lesser fat will make a lighter texture, too light for
- 1/2 to 1 cup white
sugar (depending on desired degree sweetness)...13 tablespoons of sugar by another
- sloppy-full teaspoon
of vanilla extract
- larger than 1 quart
baking dish (must hold a quart-plus of custard mix)
- a second (I prefer
metal with handles...roaster) container to hold baking dish in water, water to go half-way up
sides the of height of the mix in the baking dish, making a water bath around the baking
- oven pre-heated to
325 degrees F.
- separate yolks
(need not be careful...one recipe uses whole egg) & stir
- heat cream a bit to
ease taking up of sugar & then add sugar
- add (1) cream-sugar
mix to yolks while stirring; (2) then add vanilla extract
- pour all in baking
dish; place dish in water bath; into oven (no need to cover)
- after about 30
minutes baking, check every 10 minutes until custard "jiggles" faintly solidly when disturbed
or heavily coats a spoon.
- remove &
refrigerate overnight to "set"; then use with fruit as above;
- either scoop
custard into ramekins or alter above cooking so as to actually cook in ramekins,
- sprinkle (brown?)
sugar thinly over surface, a thickness of 3-4 grains
- arrange filled
ramekins in a low container so ice or ice-water can surround
- place oven rack
close to coils so broil until sugar layer melts...!!! closely watch while doing so!..."jerk"
from beneath coils, just in time.
- alternatively, melt
sugar surface with hand-held torch.
(check out creme brulee info @ Wikipedia)
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(posted 13 July 2005; adjusted