Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Creme Brulee

This dish is one which until a year ago I had been afraid to make. That propane torch scared the bageebers out of me. Clearly I'm not the firebug my husband is. But I did my mother-in-law the favor of painting her kitchen and she rewarded me with a torch to use for preparing Creme Brulee, which she knows my husband and children enjoy.

I had to get over my fear, and quickly I did. Creme Brulee, for as awesome a dish as it appears, is really simply a rich, creamy custard. The sugar crust on top takes only seconds, but provides the "wow" to the dessert. I have read that you can create the sugar crust under the broiler, but I have never tried it.

Creme Brulee
6 servings
1 large egg
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
(plus several tablespoons for creating the crust on each serving)

1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together
on low speed until just combined.
Meanwhile, mix cream and milk and scald the mixture in a small saucepan (or in the microwave)
until it's very hot to the touch (do not boil).
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream mixture to the eggs.
Add the vanilla and pour into six 8-ounce ramekins until almost full.

Place the ramekins in a baking pan
and carefully pour boiling water
into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes,
until the custards are set when gently shaken.
Remove the custards from the water bath,
cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until firm.
To serve, sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar evenly
over the top of each custard.
Cook the sugar with a propane torch until the sugar caramelizes evenly.
Refrigerate for a moment until the sugar chills.


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