Desserts

Crème Brûlée

When I was in my twenties, a friend and I decided that we would go to Europe to have some fun. We decided to go to Italy and France. My favorite dessert at the time was tiramisu and her favorite dessert was crème brûlée. Of course, traveling to Italy and France, we got to taste the best tiramisu and crème brûlée. Fast forward to me living in New Hampshire. I remember going to restaurant after restaurant ordering crème brûlée and it would be the worst crème brûlée I had ever tasted. One restaurant served it WARM!! Who wants to eat warm custard?

One day, Cooks Illustrated sent me a free issue of their magazine. The front cover was a recipe for crème brûlée. It was like they read my mind. I decided to make it. It couldn’t be worse than the restaurants around me. Well, it was the best crème brûlée I had tasted. Just like in France! Now, whenever I go to a dinner party, I am asked to make crème brûlée. Hence, my new favorite dessert is…crème brûlée. I modified it to be made in the Instant Pot. I have also provided the recipe to be made in the oven. Here is the recipe:

Creme Brulee (modified from Cooks Illustrated)

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 25

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chilled heavy cream (I like to use organic. Tastes better to me)
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 8-12 tsp turbinado sugar (It is easier to distribute evenly over the custards. You can use regular granulated sugar.)

Instructions

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1. Combine 2 cups of cream, sugar, and salt in saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan along with the pod. Bring mixture to a boil and stir occasionally making sure that sugar dissolves. Make sure you keep an eye on the mixture. You don't want it to overboil and spill all over your stove. Take the pan off the heat and steep for 15 minutes so the flavors infuse.

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2. After the 15 minutes, add the rest of the 2 cups of CHILLED cream to your vanilla bean/cream mixture. This helps to bring down the temperature.

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3. Whisk yolks in a large bowl until combined. Add 1 cup of vanilla bean/cream mixture to yolks slowly while whisking with your other hand. You want to temper the eggs. If you don't do this, you will have scrambled eggs in your cream. Repeat with another cup. Add remaining cream and whisk until blended.

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4. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a 2 quart bowl/measuring cup. Discard solids. Ladle or pour mixture into ramekins until ramekins are 3/4 full making sure to divide evenly amongst ramekins. Make sure you divide evenly, because I am not kidding... your guests will be upset if someone else gets more than they did.

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Instant Pot Directions:

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5. Put trivet in instant pot and pour 1.5 cups of water in pot.

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6. Cover the ramekins with foil and stack on top of the trivet. You will have to create a second layer where it sits on top of 2 ramekins or you can use a second trivet.

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7. Close lid and vent.

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8. Set on manual high pressure for 6 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.

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9. Place a towel over vent and release the rest of the pressure.

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10. Remove from instant pot and let cool on wire racks for approximately two hours. Then cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours. They can be left in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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10. Uncover ramekins and sprinkle each with 1 -1 1/2 tsp turbinado sugar. Tap ramekin to evenly cover custard with sugar. Using a torch, caramelize sugar from the outside working toward the middle. Re-chill for 30-45 minutes. Do not leave in fridge longer than 2 hours or your caramelized sugar will turn soft. If you do not have a torch, you can place under a broiler but I do not recommend this as the sugar doesn't caramelize evenly.

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Oven Directions:

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5. Preheat over to 300 degrees. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position of oven.

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6. Place a kitchen towel in a large baking dish or roasting pan and place eight 4-5 ounce ramekins on top of towel. Make sure the towel does not hang over the sides of the pan or you will have a mess in your oven. Add water to a kettle or large saucepan and boil water over high heat. You will be creating a bain marie or a hot water bath. This helps to keep your custard creamy instead of curdled.

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7. By this time, your 15 minutes should be up. Now, add the rest of the 2 cups of CHILLED cream to your vanilla bean/cream mixture. This helps to bring down the temperature.

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8. Whisk yolks in a large bowl until combined. Add 1 cup of vanilla bean/cream mixture to yolks slowly while whisking with your other hand. You want to temper the eggs. If you don't do this, you will have scrambled eggs in your cream. Repeat with another cup. Add remaining cream and whisk until blended.

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9. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a 2 quart bowl/measuring cup. Discard solids. Ladle or pour mixture into ramekins until ramekins are 3/4 full making sure to divide evenly amongst ramekins. Make sure you divide evenly, because I am not kidding... your guests will be upset if someone else gets more than they did.

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10. Carefully place baking dish with ramekins on oven rack. Pour boiling water into dish (make sure you do not spill water into ramekins) so that water reaches 2/3 height of the ramekins.

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11. Bake for approx. 30-35 minutes. Check ramekins 25 minutes into baking. You do not want to overcook the custard. Bake until the custards are barely set and are no longer sloshy. You can use a digital instant read thermometer to know when they are done when the center registers 170-175 degrees.

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12. Remove from oven and let cool on wire racks for approximately two hours. Then cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least 4 hours. They can be left in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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13. Uncover ramekins and sprinkle each with 1 -1 1/2 tsp turbinado sugar. Tap ramekin to evenly cover custard with sugar. Using a torch, caramelize sugar from the outside working toward the middle. Re-chill for 30-45 minutes. Do not leave in fridge longer than 2 hours or your caramelized sugar will turn soft. If you do not have a torch, you can place under a broiler but I do not recommend this as the sugar doesn't caramelize evenly.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Megan
    May 14, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Everything you make looks soooooooo delish! I wish you were my personal chef!!

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