Creme Brulee – looks and sounds very fancy but actually easy to make. Uses 4 egg yolks
For the Custard:
2 cups heavy cream or thick dairy free half and half
10 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
A pinch of sea salt
For the Brûlée topping:
4 tablespoons sugar (2 teaspoons per ramekin)
For Caramel Layer
Preheat oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position:
Arrange six 4-ounce ramekins in a large baking dish and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream or half and half, 4 tablespoons of the sugar, and a tiny pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat, until it begins to simmer.
Once the cream begins to simmer, remove the pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
separate your eggs. Place the yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl; save the whites for something else.
Whisk the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar into the yolks. Temper the eggs. Whisking the yolks constantly, slowly add one ladle of hot cream to the egg yolk mixture. Do this two or three more times. Continue whisking, and slowly add the remaining cream to the eggs. If necessary, pour the mixture through a sieve to remove any lumpy egg bits.
(If you’re making ahead, you can let the custard cool and stored it in the fridge for no more than 5 days. Let them come back to room temperature before proceeding with the brulee.)
Divide the custard between the ramekins, filling about three-quarters of the way full. Set each one in your large roasting pan and fill it with hot water, just until the water comes about two-thirds of the way up the side of the ramekins.
Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 38 to 40 minutes. When ready, the crème brûlée will still jiggle a bit in the middle, but should spring back a little. If the center is still liquid, return to the oven for 3 minutes or so.
Preheat your oven’s broiler. Sprinkle the surface of each custard evenly with about 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar. Place on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for no more then 2-3 minutes. If the sugar hasn’t melted and caramelized, pop it back under the broiler for another minute or so, If you want a really thick layer of crust, you can sprinkle each of the custards with an additional teaspoon of sugar and brûlée the surface again. Cool for a few minutes, then serve. Enjoy!