'Crème-your-pants' Crème Brûlée

Crème Brûlée was the tipping point.  Mostly on the scale of my bathroom, but also the point I really started getting into cooking. I got obsessed with making it, perfecting it. Molten and crisp on the top, cool and smooth on the bottom.  In my opinion, it's the ultimate dessert.  And it's dead simple and easy to make. Cook your custard, throw it in the fridge and you have an on-demand dessert.  Plus, using that torch makes you look super, duper cool.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups heavy cream

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 vanilla beans

  • 12 egg yolks

  • turbinado or demerara sugar

Directions

 

1. Combine half the cream with the sugar in saucepan, add vanilla bean seeds & split pods. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and remove from heat. Steep 20 minutes. 

2. In large baking dish, arrange 10 ramekins and place aside. Bring kettle full of water to a boil.

3. After steeping, add the remaining cream.  In separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks gently and slowly add about 1/2 cup of cream and sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Add another cup of cream to the eggs, again whisking constantly. When combined, add remaining cream to the eggs.  Whisk until combined. Strain custard through fine mesh sieve and into pitcher.  

4. Pour and divide custard between all 10 ramekins. Place baking tray with ramekins in centre of pre-heated 300 F oven.  Pour boiling water into baking dish so ramekins are submerged in ~1.5 inches of water.  Close oven and bake until custards are barely set, 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours (up to 4 days). 

5. Immediately before serving, remove from the refrigerator. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Either place under broiler (if you don't have a torch) or use a torch to caramelize the sugar (some like a light caramelization, I prefer dark). Serve immediately.