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Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée


This was one of the first desserts that I learned to make in Paris. It’s quick, easy, elegant, and tastes better than anything you have ever tried in a restaurant.

The recipe will fill four 4.5 ounce ramekins.

Ingredients:

1 cup of whole milk

1 cup of heavy cream

1 whole vanilla bean

4 egg yolks

1/4 of white sugar

Enough butter to butter the ramekins

1/4 cup of light brown sugar

How to prepare:

1. Preheat your oven to 325°.

2. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Using a paring knife, scrape the vanilla beans from each half of the pod. Here is a good video to show you how if you haven’t done this before.

2. Heat the milk, the cream, the vanilla beans, and the vanilla pod halves over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan until the mixture just begins to boil. Turn off the heat and let the vanilla bean infuse the milk and cream mixture for anywhere between 10-30 minutes.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the white sugar together until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 30 seconds. Remove the vanilla bean pod halves from the milk and cream mixture. Now you need to temper the egg yolks. This is important because if you add all the hot liquid to the egg yolks at the same time, you will be on you way to making scrambled eggs.

To temper, add a spoonful of the warm milk-cream mixture to the eggs. Stir quickly to incorporate the liquid into the egg and sugar mixture. Continue to add the liquid a little bit at a time, whisking everything until the mixture has become pale yellow and slightly foamy.

5. Carefully divide and pour the mixture into the buttered ramekins. Gently set the filled ramekins in a baking dish. Fill the dish with water until the water level comes halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake the crèmes in the oven for about 45 minutes. The centers should be jiggly, but not watery.

6. Remove the crèmes from the oven and cool them on the countertop for about 10 minutes before chilling them the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

7. Before serving, heat your broiler element. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top of each crème. Broil the crèmes under the broiler until the brown sugar has become hard and crackly. Serve immediately.

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