February 20, 2012

Lemon Creme Brulee

As you may remember, I made lemon creme brulee for Valentine's day. It was delicious! Creme brulee sounds really fancy and like it'd be difficult to make but it really isn't. It's a basic custard and as long as you're patient and follow directions it'll come out very tasty. Plus it's so easy to make it whichever flavor you'd like.

Here's how to make some tasty lemon creme brulee:

This was supposed to fill 4 ramekins, but it ended up making 6. You need:
2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar + some to sprinkle on before you brulee the top
lemon zest

I like to lay out stuff as much as possible before I make something. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add your cream to a saucepan, add your lemon zest (I used the zest from two lemons; make sure you only add the colorful outside part and not the bitter white pith of the lemon), and turn on the burner to medium heat. 
If you didn't want lemon flavor then this is where you would add whatever flavor you'd like the creme brulee to be instead. Traditionally you would just add vanilla bean or vanilla extract for a basic creme brulee.

Continue warming up the cream, but don't let it boil.

While the cream is warming, separate the egg yolks. I just do this by cracking the egg into my hand and letting the whites run off. Just be gentle handling the eggs so the yolks don't crack while you're doing it.

Mix the yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar together. I moved mine to a bigger bowl because the cream has to be added to the yolks.

Is the cream warm? Hooray! Turn off the burner. 

Since we used lemon zest it needs to be strained out of the cream. Just pour the warm cream into another bowl and sift it through a strainer. 

Here's the part where you need to be patient and careful. You can't just dump the warm cream over the egg yolks because that'll scramble the eggs. Temper the cream into the egg/sugar mixture. This just means you pour a little bit of the cream into the eggs and stir it in, then pour a little more and continue mixing. This keeps the temperature of the eggs below cooking temperature. Repeat this until all the cream is incorporated into the eggs. 

Now you can pour your custard mix into the ramekins. These have to be cooked in a water bath, so find some sort of oven proof dish (such as this casserole pan) to place your ramekins into. Fill it with warm water  half-way up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully place your pan in the oven. Cook these 35 or 40 minutes. Keep an eye on them. 

They're done with they're set and a little jiggly in the middle. These are done! Now put them in the fridge until they're chilled. This will take a few hours so I like to make them the night before. 

We pulled them out on Valentine's day, sprinkled some sugar on them, and used my kitchen torch to brulee the sugar. I used regular plain sugar, but it's best to use course sugar. I just didn't have any! If you don't have a kitchen torch you can also place these under the oven broiler instead. Let the sugar harden for a minute before you dig in.

And...you're done! We defrosted some mixed berries and put them on top. They kind of look creepy and gross in the picture, but I promise they're just berries that are all smooshed. The mix of lemon and berry was so tasty. I also cut up strawberries to put on top the next day when I had Jeanie over.

I hope this inspired you to try out making your own creme brulee! See? It isn't really that difficult! 


Laura Go said...

ooooh fancy! Those are the largest egg yolks I've ever seen!
♥ laura
the blog of worldly delights

Laura said...

Ohhhhh, this looks lovely! I might have to give this a try, lactose intolerance be damned...or maybe I could substitute a heavy coconut cream? Time to investigate! But I did get some creme brulee flavored coffee the other day, so I'll get my fix in either way, even if it's not quite the same :)


April, Everyday Forgotten said...

Ahh I love creme brulee, though I've never actually made my own for some reason, though I knew it was just basic custard ingredients. Definately think I'm going to have to make some after seeing this :)

Anonymous said...

Nom nom nom, these look super tasty!

Amber Blue Bird said...

yummy. I need to get one of those little blow torches.

Cathy said...

Looks delicious! I love all things lemon. (:


Niina - It seems pretty obvious. said...

I've never made creme brulee, but I love it :) This looks delicious! I should probably give it a try some day!

Have a nice day!

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