Crème Brûlée

4.5
(553)

Crème brûlée is a lovely dessert to serve when entertaining. It's delicious served with either fresh mangos sprinkled with rum or strawberries with Grand Marnier or Cointreau.

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Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
Servings:
5

This classic crème brûlée recipe is on par with what you'd get at a 5-star restaurant, but it's surprisingly easy to make at home.

overhead view of creme brulee in a large casserole dish
Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

What Is Crème Brûlée?

Crème brûlée is a decadent French dessert consisting of a custard base and a caramelized sugar crust. The treat is traditionally served in individual ramekins. You can use a butane torch to achieve the perfect caramelization if you'd like, but this crème brûlée recipe is easily finished under your oven's broiler.

Crème Brûlée Ingredients

These are the ingredients you'll need to make perfect crème brûlée:

· Egg yolks: This classic crème brûlée recipe starts with egg yolks, ensuring a rich dessert.
· White sugar: You'll need six tablespoons of white sugar — four for the custard and two for the caramelized topping.
· Vanilla: A dash of vanilla extract adds complexity and enhances the overall flavor of this crème brûlée.
· Cream: Heavy whipping cream is whisked into the egg yolks over low heat until nice and thick.
· Brown sugar: A blend of white and brown sugars is sprinkled over the custard and broiled until perfectly caramelized.

creme brûlée in ramekins with raspberries on the side
Allrecipes Video

How to Make Crème Brûlée

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this top-rated crème brûlée:

1. Make the custard: Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Heat the cream until it's almost boiling, then whisk the cream into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a double boiler and stir over simmering water until thick.
2. Bake and chill the custard: Pour the mixture into crème brûlée dishes or ramekins. Bake in a preheated oven until set. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge.
3. Caramelize the sugar: Sprinkle each custard with a blend of brown and white sugars. Place under your oven's broiler until the sugar is melted and caramelized. Chill before serving.

Nicole's Best Crème Brûlée Tips

"Crème brûlée is one of those things that sounds a whole lot fancier than it is," according to culinary producer Nicole McLaughlin (a.k.a. NicoleMcMom). "All we're doing is making a custard — you've got this." Here are a few of her best crème brûlée tips and tricks:

· It's important to temper (or slowly add) your egg yolks to the cream. If you pour them straight into the hot cream, Nicole says, you'll end up with scrambled eggs.
· Pull the crème brûlée out of the oven when it's still slightly jiggly, kind of like you would a cheesecake. It will continue to set as it cools.
· You'll know the crème brûlée is perfect and ready-to-eat when it makes an audible "tap, tap, tap" sound when you tap the hardened sugar with the back of your spoon.

closeup of spoonful of creme brulee
Naomi Gutierrez

Can You Make Crème Brûlée Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! You can make the crème brûlée's custard base up to two days in advance — just cover each ramekin tightly and store in the refrigerator. When you're almost ready to serve dessert, sprinkle with the sugar blend and broil until caramelized. Chill for at least 10 minutes before serving.

creme brulee in two ramekins
Allrecipes Video

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Doubled this," says Amy Marlin. "It was a huge hit with everyone, especially our gluten-free friends who hadn't thought about creme brulee as an option!"

"We're not all pastry chefs and have no desire to make life that complicated," according to Pops the Cook. "This recipe worked very well as written. Smooth, creamy, delicious!!"

"Just [make sure to] add the hot cream to the eggs really slowly so that they don't cook and this is a winner," says Joan-Marie. "I've made it several times and it never fails to impress."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams

Ingredients

  • 6 egg yolks

  • 6 tablespoons white sugar, divided

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

  2. Whisk egg yolks, 4 tablespoons white sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy; set aside.

  3. Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to a boil. Whisk cream into egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.

  4. Pour mixture into the top pan of a double boiler. Stir over simmering water until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Pour into a shallow heat-proof dish.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until custard is set, about 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour or overnight.

  6. Turn the oven to broil.

  7. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons white sugar and brown sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture evenly over custard. Place dish under the broiler until sugar melts and caramelizes, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn.

  8. Allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate until custard is set again, about 10 minutes.

    closeup of spoonful of creme brulee
    Naomi Gutierrez

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

561 Calories
50g Fat
24g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 5
Calories 561
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 50g 64%
Saturated Fat 29g 147%
Cholesterol 417mg 139%
Sodium 55mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 109mg 8%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 116mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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