Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Creme Brulee

So on Sunday we finally used the ramekins we got oh probably a year ago. We got them to try Alton Brown's Creme Brulee. The creme was wonderful, but we had problem with the brulee. The instructions said to get the dishes out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before caramelizing the sugar. Then we were to use 1/2 cup sugar over 6 ramekins, so 4 tsp. for each. The creme became thin because it was too warm and the caramel layer was too thick. We only used 4 on the first try, so on the remaining 2 we put on the sugar and poured off whatever didn't stick. And we caramelized it straight out of the fridge. Then the creme was cold and thick and the layer of sugar was thin and crisp. The only problem was that the creme layer seemed too thick for the amount of sugar. So next time we'll probably divide the creme into 8 cups so the creme to sugar ratio will be better. Either that or we need oval shaped ramekins.

Creme Brulee
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005

1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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