Quick and Easy Brûlée
1 quart heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean, split and scraped is wonderful and officially necessary for classic brûlée, but remember, this is the quick, no fuss version for ending a busy day on a sweet note)
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 quarts hot water
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- A. If you are using a vanilla bean, do this: place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use. B. If you are not using a vanilla bean, do this: heat the cream in a medium sauce pan to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Allow to sit while you do step 3.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and mixture just begins to lighten in color.
- Add the slightly cooled cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins.
- Place the ramekins into a large pan deep enough for hot water poured carefully into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins
- Bake until the creme brûlée is just set, but still jiggly in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the hot water and refrigerate on a small baking sheet for at least 2 hours (or up to 3 days)
- When ready to serve, sprinkle tops with coarse sugar and place under high broiler until sugar caramelizes. Remove from heat and allow to harden before serving. (This process may also be done with a culinary torch, if desired)
Quick and Easy. Spectacular and always in perfect taste!
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