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Creme Brulee

An elegant dessert, made with just a few staple ingredients.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 8 servings


  • 8-10 four-ounce ramekins or Pyrex bowls
  • 9” x 13” baking dish
  • Kettle (optional)


  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cup sugar plus one tablespoon per ramekin for topping
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 8 cups water


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  • Combine heavy cream and vanilla bean paste in a saucepan over medium heat. Stirring continuously, bring just to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes while preparing other ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, beat together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until the mixture is pale yellow and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  • Temper the egg yolk mixture; slowly drizzle ½ cup of warm cream into the egg yolk mixture while beating. Slowly add the remainder of the warm cream while beating the egg yolks. Mix in orange and lime zests.
  • Place a kitchen towel at the bottom of a 9” by 13” baking dish, and place ramekins on top of the towel. Bring water to a boil (using a kettle, if you have one).
  • Pour cream mixture directly into ramekins. Pour water into the pan beside the ramekins, making a water bath.
  • Carefully place water bath into your preheated oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. The finished dessert should be just set; the center may slightly jiggle, but it should not appear watery.
  • Using tongs or a hot pad, carefully remove ramekins from water bath and allow them to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes minutes before placing them in the refrigerator.
  • Immediately before serving, sprinkle each ramekin with approximately 1 tablespoon of sugar - just enough so that there is a thin, even coat of sugar across the top of each ramekin.
  • Use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar on each ramekin. If you don’t have a blowtorch, broil briefly on high, until ramekins are caramelized. Watch closely!


Feel free to cut this recipe in half. 
For optimal caramelization, place sugar in your blender and blend for a few seconds before sprinkling on the ramekins. This creates a more “fine” texture to the sugar, and thus a more even caramelization.
Each custard can remain in the refrigerator for up to a week before caramelizing and serving.
Keyword cream, creme brulee, custard, gluten free