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How to Make Crème Brûlée

Created January 10, 2017
Learn how to prepare decadent crème brûlée for four; it’s one extra-special dessert that’s easier to make than you might think.

Add a touch of homemade elegance to any occasion by making restaurant-quality crème brûlée in the comfort your own home. If you don’t have a kitchen torch, we’ll also show you how to caramelize the dessert using your broiler. 

What you’ll need:

  • Ingredients for Crème Brûlée
  • Large bowl
  • Wire whisk
  • 13x9-inch pan
  • 4 ceramic ramekins
  • Cooling rack
  • Kitchen torch
  • Paper towels 

How to: 

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir whipping cream, 1/3 cup sugar and the vanilla until well mixed. Add egg yolks; beat with whisk until evenly colored and well blended. Pour this mixture evenly into ramekins.


2. Transfer ramekins to 13x9-inch pan; place pan in oven. Pour boiling water into pan until it covers two-thirds the height of ramekins. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until tops are light golden brown. Transfer ramekins to cooling rack; cool 2 hours. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 2 days. Uncover ramekins; gently blot away condensation on custards with paper towel.


3. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons sugar over each custard. Next, holding kitchen torch 3 to 4 inches from custard, caramelize sugar on each custard, moving flame continuously over sugar in a circular motion. The sugar is partially melted at this point.


4. Keep moving flame continuously over sugar in a circular motion 1 to 2 minutes until sugar is melted and light golden brown. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 8 hours before serving.


To Caramelize Under Broiler: 

If you don’t have a kitchen torch, no worries! You can caramelize crème brûlée using your broiler instead—simply follow these alternate instructions starting at Step 3: 

Sprinkle 2 teaspoons brown sugar over each chilled custard. (Brown sugar melts more evenly under broiler.) Place ramekins in pan or on cookie sheet with sides. Broil with tops 4 to 6 inches from heat 5 to 6 minutes or until sugar is melted and forms a glaze. 

Expert tips:

  • Do not use glass custard cups or pie plates as they cannot withstand the heat from the kitchen torch or broiler and may break.
  • Be careful not to splash water into the ramekins when pouring into pan in Step 2.
  • You’ll know when your crème brûlée is ready to come out of the oven when the sides are set but its centers will remain slightly jiggly.