Vanilla Creme Brulee is the quintessential French dessert! It’s a rich, creamy custard topped with a crackly caramel topping made from caramelized sugar. Despite the fancy French name, it is easy to make and requires only 5 ingredients!
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scooped out
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 large yolks
- ¾ cup white granulated sugar, divided
Preheat oven to 325ºF with a rack in the middle.
Combine the heavy cream, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds and salt in a saucepan. Heat, over medium heat, until steaming. Then turn the heat off, cover and let it steep for 10 minutes. Discard the vanilla bean.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy. Temper the eggs by adding a ladleful of the hot cream, whisking to combine. Pour the remaining infused cream and mix well.
Divide the mixture into six 5-ounce ramekins and place the ramekins in a rimmed baking sheet. Pour boiling water in the baking sheet, filling so it covers the ramekins two-thirds up their sides. Be careful to not get any water in the ramekins!
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until barely set. The edges will be set but the middle will still be a little jiggly. If you want to use a thermometer, they are done when they get to 170ºF.
Remove from the oven and let them cool completely. Then, cover them loosely with plastic or foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 4 days.
Remove the creme brulees from the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. If you notice any moisture on top of the custards, gently dab it away with a paper towel.
Sprinkle about 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar over the surface of each custard, swirling the ramekin so it's evenly distributed.
Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar until it hardens. (Alternatively, you can place the custards under the broiler for about 5 minutes, rotating them often so they caramelize evenly. Let the creme brulees set for 5 minutes before serving.
- Ramekin Size: Creme Brulee is traditionally made in wide, shallow ramekins. You can find them in 4-ounce, 5-ounce, and 6-ounce capacity. This recipe was tested in 5oz ramekins and makes 6 of them. If you use the smaller capacity ones, you will probably make more servings. If using a higher capacity ramekin, they might not fill to the very top.
- Make Ahead Creme Brulee: You can make the custard up to 4 days ahead. However, the brulee topping should be done right before serving.
- Got leftovers? Depending on how long you initially had the creme brulee in the fridge to set, the leftovers will keep for up to 5 days without losing quality. However, if they already have the brulee topping, it will be soft and not crackly like they should. The creme brulee will still be delicious, though! If you simply must enjoy it as fresh, you could scrape the topping off and make it again.
Calories: 417kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 262mg, Sodium: 134mg, Potassium: 76mg, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 1370IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 1mg