Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

This wonderfully, light and decadent creme brulee was the perfect end to Christmas dinner. It’s adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe on the Food Network.

Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar plus 6 tablespoons

Directions:
Split and scrape the vanilla bean. Heat the heavy cream, milk, and vanilla bean in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl and beat until pale yellow in color and all of the sugar has dissolved. Temper about 1/2 a cup of the cream mixture into the egg mixture and whisk vigorously to incorporate well. Add the remainder of the cream mixture (1/2 a cup at a time) to the bowl and whisk vigorously to incorporate. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Boil a teakettle of water. Pour the custard into 6 (5-ounce) oval ramekins or gratin dishes, and place the dishes in a sheet pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come up half way on the sides of the ramekins. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes, turning the sheet pan around after 15 minutes to ensure even cooking. To test for doneness, jiggle the pan slightly to see if the custard is set. (If it giggles slightly, it’s cooked, If it looks like a hula dancer, it needs to cook another 5 minutes. Keep checking after five minutes.) When it is set, remove the custard from the oven and let cool at room temperature before placing them in the refrigerator for 2 hours to completely cool. (We found it best to leave it cool overnight.) Once the brulee has cooled, evenly spread 1 tablespoon of sugar over each ramekin and using a blowtorch, caramelize the sugar to form a candy coating. Be sure to keep the blowtorch moving in a circular motion to prevent the sugar from burning. Serve once the sugar has cooled and is hard like candy.

My opinion:
This dessert is decadent. We tried using a candle lighter and found it wasn’t really hot enough. If you want to make this more than once, consider investing in a real blow torch. This recipe is worth trying at least once.

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