I recently got a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking with the hopes of going through the cookbook and preparing each recipe much like the character of Julie did in the movie Julie and Julia. But with a toddler, that dream seems a little difficult to attain. I love this recipe for creme brulee and although it isn’t Julia’s, it is an easy recipe for the classic dessert. It does require an expensive ingredient and some special tools but all in all, so worth it. The custard is creamy and absolutely heavenly and the caramelized sugar topping adds the “wow” factor. Oh, and the verdict on the movie? Delightful.
Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten
- 1 extra-large egg
- 4 extra-large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for each serving
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a small saucepan until it’s very hot to the touch but not boiled. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs. Add the vanilla and orange liqueur and pour into 6 to 8-ounce ramekins until almost full.
Place the ramekins in a baking pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custards are set when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.
To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and heat with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar caramelizes evenly. Allow to sit at room temperature for a minute until the caramelized sugar hardens.
Notes: It took me much longer than 40 minutes for the custards to set; I think it may have been the difference in altitude. If you do not have a kitchen blowtorch, you can use your oven broiler but keep a close eye on it as it could burn.