Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Creme Brulee

The first time I had creme brulee, I was taking a summer graduate course down at the University of Texas in Austin. The Marriot I was staying in had a great restaurant, and, out of sheer curiosity, I tried something new off the menu. I liked the custard, and loved the sugar top. However, it took me 7 years to find a recipe get the guts to make it. This is Ina Garten's creme brulee recipe off of The Food Network's website.

1 egg (Ina uses extra-large, but I used large eggs, because that's what I always buy)
4 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
3 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla (I finally used the vanilla I made--it needs just a little more time to brew, though)
1 TBSP Grand Marnier (an orange liqueur)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix egg, yolks and 1/2 c. sugar on low until just combined. Meanwhile, scald cream in small sauce pan, but DO NOT BOIL. With a mixer on low, slowly add cream to eggs. Then, add vanilla and liqueur. Pour equal amounts of batter into six ramekins (note: you do not grease the ramekins), and place the ramekins in a pan, and pour boiling water around the ramekins, creating a water bath. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Although, mine took about 50 minutes. Cool.

Before serving coat top of cooked custard with sugar (about 1 tsp or so--I didn't use Ina's recipe for this part) and using a butane torch, caramelize the sugar. I don't own a torch, and couldn't find one at Target, so I used the broiler on my oven.

VERDICT: Just like I remembered it! However, I think I want more of a vanilla taste, so I would steep a vanilla bean in the cream as it cooks.

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