The Best Creme Brulee

I still remember the first time I was taught to shatter the shell before scooping into the creamy custard below.

My grandparents took me on a week-long trip to Chicago for my twelfth birthday. We saw a few plays, explored a few museums, and ate dessert at every dinner – the absolute highlight of the trip for this pastry chef in the making.

The Best Creme Brulee
Learn to make the French classic, a super creamy creme brulee. Our simple recipe offers plenty of options to mix up the flavors. Read more on Foodal.
Servings Prep Time
4 6-oz ramekins 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 3 hours


1 whole vanilla bean
2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup, plus 3 tablespoons granulated Sugar divided
 6-oz ramekins


Preheat the oven to 300°F and bring 6 cups of water to a boil on the stove.
Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds. Add both the seeds and the pod to a medium-sized pot with the cream, and heat on medium-high until scalding. Pour through a fine mesh strainer or chinois into a large mixing bowl, to cool slightly and strain out the vanilla pod.
Whisk together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale, then slowly pour in the warm cream in a steady stream, whisking continuously. Whisk until smooth and then pass through the strainer once more.
Pour the custard into 6-ounce ramekins. Place them in a deep roasting pan, and fill the pan with the boiling water until it reaches 2/3 of the height of the ramekins. Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil.
Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. When finished, the custard will jiggle slightly but it will no longer be liquid.
Remove the aluminum foil and take the ramekins out of the pan with a sturdy set of tongs. Let cool in the refrigerator for least 3 hours, until chilled. If you’d like to keep them in the fridge for more than one day, wrap them with plastic wrap once they have cooled completely. They will keep for up to a week.
To serve, sprinkle the top of each custard lightly with the remaining granulated sugar and caramelize with a kitchen torch until deep auburn in color. Keep the torch set to a medium-sized flame and heat around the perimeter of the dish first, finishing with the center. Let rest for three minutes before serving.

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