Classic Creme Brulee, adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris
At one of the first dinners Cora hosts at Lulworth, the Wareham family seat, creme brulee is served. Just after her malicious mother-in-law drops some news that she knows will upset Cora, she is describes as viciously cracking her spoon into a creme brulee. As soon as I read that I knew that would be my recipe for this book. I have never made creme brulee and in fact I never order it in restaurants. I probably have only had it 1 or 2 times. Strange, I know, because I love puddings and custards, but for me it just always seemed kinda boring. But it is a classic, and something everyone should know how to make. I was surprised at how easy and non-fussy this recipe was. It was comforting and special at the same time. As you can see, I don't have a kitchen torch so I used the broiler - hence the blackened spots. Despite a little burning, the crisp sugar crust is of course what makes this dessert.
1 extra-large egg
4 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
3 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- In the bowl of an electric mixture with a paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar on low speed until combined.
- At the same time, scald the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. To scald means to heat it until just below boiling, it should be hot to the touch but without lots of bubbles.
- With the mixture on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs.
- Add the vanilla and grand marnier and mix until combined.
- Pour the custard into 6 to 8 ounce ramekins until almost full.
- Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and fill it with boiling water about half way up the sides of the ramekin.
- Carefully plan the pan in the oven and bake until the custards are set, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Refrigerate the custards for at least 2 hours.
- When it is time to serve, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top of the custard and either melt using a little kitchen torch or place in a broiler until the sugar melts/browns/bubbles.
- Remove from the oven and let sit until the caramelized sugar hardens.