getting fancy with crème brûlée

My husband collects a lot of things. Like jackets. Shoes. Chapstick.
And more notably, kitchen supplies.

My gift to him on our wedding day was a meat slicer. Something he had been coveting for years. I was reluctant to give him one, wondering if it would ever get any use. But all those doubts went away when I saw his face as he opened his gift. I’ve never seen him grin like that.
So it was only fitting that his parents gifted him with a professional crème brûlée torch this past Christmas. A kitchen accessory that shoots flames? Count him in.

In my great state of sleep deprivation this past weekend,
I decided we should break out the torch and give it a go. Class up dessert. By making crème brûlée in my pjs.

Surprisingly, what I assumed was going to be an epic fail (as most fancy desserts are in my kitchen), turned out to be the perfect morsel of dessert. I say morsel as this recipe says it makes four servings, but in reality those servings are about six spoonfuls. Which is probably a good thing, for a dessert made of egg yolks and heavy cream.

I did add my own twist to the classic recipe, adding in a hint of lemon and topping with fresh berries. Just to trick the mind into thinking you’re eating fruit for dessert.


1/2 pint of heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp of lemon zest
sugar for dusting (before torching)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Boil water in a kettle on the stove.

In a saucepan, heat heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest for 5-6 minutes over medium heat until tiny bubbles appear along the edges. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, beat together egg yolks and vanilla extract until smooth. Slowly add in cream mixture until combined. Pour into crème brûlée ramekins and place in a glass 9×13 pan. Pour boiling water from the kettle in the pan until it is about halfway up the side of the ramekins.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the custard is starting to set. Remove from the oven, cool ramekins on a cookie sheet and then chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

When it comes time to serve your dessert, sprinkle a dusting of sugar on each crème brûlée ramekin and light up the torch. Holding the torch horizontally, pass it over the sugar (do not touch the surface with the flame) until the sugar bubbles and browns. Top with berries and serve!

We didn’t have the proper ramekins so I used our french onion soup crocks, which made the torching process a bit more difficult since they are deeper than crème brûlée ramekins. I guess we’ll be investing in some new dishware so we can properly torch our dessert next time!

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