The Very Best Crème brûlée (2024)

ByAlida Ryder Published

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This is the very best Crème brûlée recipe you will ever make. The custard is silky smooth and the bruleed sugar topping is perfectly caramelized delivering that crack you want before diving in to the vanilla-scented custard. A true classic and absolutely delicious.

The Very Best Crème brûlée (1)

Crème brûlée is an incredibly simple recipe to make but can be tricky to execute perfectly because you’re working with a custard. Custards can curdle easily and overbaking will result in a custard that is too firm and/or lumpy. Luckily there are a few tricks that will ensure your Crème brûlée comes out perfectly, ever time!

What is Crème brûlée?

Crème brûlée is a French dessert consisting of a rich, creamy baked custard topped with a layer of caramelized sugar. It’s also often called burnt cream.

Ingredients Needed

  • Cream. Heavy cream or whipping cream.
  • Vanilla bean. Vanilla paste or vanilla extract can be substituted.
  • Caster sugar. You’ll need caster sugar for both the custard and the topping. Using caster sugar means the sugar granules will dissolve quickly into the custard but also caramelize faster on top.
  • Egg yolks.
The Very Best Crème brûlée (2)

How to make Crème brûlée

Start by making the custard. Split the vanilla bean in half and add to a small saucepan with the cream. Set over medium heat. Once the cream starts to bubble around the edges, remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light in color. Add a ladle of the hot cream and whisk into the egg yolk mixture. Stream in the hot cream whilst whisking continuously until everything is combined. Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a jug (this makes it easier to pour the custard into the ramekins). Set your ramekins in a deep baking dish then fill each with the custard. Carefully pour boiling hot water into the baking dish until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

To bake the custard, place the roasting dish in a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until the edges are set but the center still has a slight jiggle. Remove from the oven then allow to cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Transfer to the fridge and allow to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once you’re ready to serve, sprinkle a tablespoon of caster sugar to the top of each pot of custard then using a kitchen blow torch, caramelize the sugar. This can also be done under the oven’s broiler/grill ? but there’s always the risk of the custard softening too much, which is why I prefer using a blowtorch. Allow the sugar to harden for a minute or two then serve immediately.

Tips for making the best cremebrûlée:

  1. Temper the eggs: By pouring the hot cream mixture into the whisked eggs slowly, you are tempering the eggs which means they are less likely to curdle. If you immediately add the hot cream to the yolks they will cook too fast and turn to a scrambled egg texture.
  2. Slow baking: By baking the creme brulee in a water bath at a low temperature, the custard has a chance to slowly cook and set. The water bath (or Bain Marie ) acts as a buffer but also adds moisture to the oven which prevent the custard from cracking. However, that shouldn’t be an issue if you don’t over-bake the custard. A good tip to keep the ramekins in place in the baking pan is to add a triple layer of paper towels underneath the ramekins which will help keep them in place while baking.
  3. Avoid over-baking: By pulling the ramekins out of the oven when the center of the custard is still jiggly, you prevent overcooking the mixture. This will result in the creamiest, silky custard once fully cooled and will prevent the custard from cracking.

Can I makeCrème brûlée ahead?

The custard can be made and baked up to 2 days ahead and kept in the fridge until you are ready to Serve. Brûlée the sugar topping right before serving. This recipe isn’t suitable for freezing as the custard will likely split once thawed.

The Very Best Crème brûlée (3)

French dessert recipes

  1. Apple tarte tatin
  2. Salted Vanilla Crème Caramel

The Very Best Crème brûlée (4)

Crème brûlée

This is the very best Crème brûlée recipe you will ever make. The custard is silky smooth and the bruleed sugar topping is perfectly caramelized delivering that crack you want before diving in to the vanilla-scented custard. A true classic and absolutely delicious.

4.93 from 14 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: French

Keyword: Crème brûlée, Crème brûlée recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes minutes

Cooling time: 4 hours hours

Total Time: 4 hours hours 50 minutes minutes

Calories: 455kcal

Author: Alida Ryder

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 500 ml (2 cups) cream heavy cream / whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean or use 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar for sugar topping

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F.

  • Split the vanilla bean in half and add to a small saucepan with the cream.

  • Set the pan over medium heat.

  • Once the cream starts to bubble around the edges, remove from the heat.

  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light in color.

  • Add a ladle of the hot cream and whisk into the egg yolk mixture.

  • Stream in the hot cream whilst whisking continuously until everything is combined.

  • Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a jug (this makes it easier to pour the custard into the ramekins).

  • Set your ramekins in a deep baking dish then fill each with the custard. I use 150-200ml (5-6oz) ramekins.

  • Carefully pour boiling hot water into the baking dish until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  • To bake the custard, place the roasting dish in a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until the edges are set but the center still has a slight jiggle.

  • Remove from the oven then allow to cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Transfer to the fridge and allow to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.

  • Once you're ready to serve, sprinkle a tablespoon of caster sugar to the top of each pot of custard then using a kitchen blow torch, caramelize the sugar.

  • This can also be done under the oven's broiler/grill ? but there's always the risk of the custard softening too much, which is why I prefer using a blowtorch.

  • Allow the sugar to harden for a minute or two then serve immediately.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 289mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 100mg | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 1492IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 1mg

The Very Best Crème brûlée (2024)

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