As a novice baker myself, when I hear anyone speak about making/baking French Pastries I think oh man there’s no way I can do this. French pastry work to me is the”Crème de la crème” if you will. I become so discouraged I don’t want to even try so I know I can’t fail. Then I think if I want to be a successful baker someday, I need to be able to take chances and learn to perfect my craft specially the most challenging ones. So I decided to go all out and do two of the most challenging (to me) recipes I could think of, both French based. I was going to make Crème Brûlée and a Lemon Meringue Pie (which will be feature in a #tastytreattuesday in the near future).
So everyone let’s take a deep breath, put on our fancy beret and let’s begin our Parisian journey:
4 cups heavy cream, chilled
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
10 large egg yolks
¼ cup turbinado sugar
1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with a clean dish towel. Arrange eight 6 oz. ramekins in the pan making sure that they do not touch. Boil a pot of water in a tea kettle once it whistles put aside.
2. While awaiting the whistle of the tea kettle combine 2 cups of the cream, the granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean*** and add to the pan with pod. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Off the heat, cover and let steep for 15 minutes
*** For those of you that have never cut open a vanilla bean it is quite easy. Get your paring knife and insert to make a hole on either end of the pod either the top or bottom of its inseam. Then you will slowly and carefully drag just the tip of the knife down the pod, you should be able to open the whole pod lengthwise. Be care when you open the seeds are very tiny and will get all over the place. Scraping the seeds out you will use the back of your paring knife and gently scrape from top to bottom. It will accumulate on your knife and then just gently tap it into the mixture. Then place the remaining pod in the mixture. ***
3. Stir in the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream; Place the yolks in a large bowl and slowly whisk in 1 cup of the cream mixture until smooth. Whisk in the remaining cream mixture until thoroughly combined. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup (you can use a pitcher or just something easy to pour with). Pour the custard evenly into the ramekins.
4. Pour the water from the kettle carefully into the roasting pan until it reaching about 2/3 the height of the ramekins. Slowly place the roasting pan into the oven. Bake until the centers of the custards are just barely set and are no longer sloshy. Normally takes between 30 – 35 minutes.
5. Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature for about 2 hours. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, for at least 4 hours.
6. Just before you’re ready to serve, take out your ramekins unwrap, pat the top dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle about 1 ½ teaspoons of the tarbinado** sugar evenly on the top. Then with your pastry torch caramelize the top (please see below for steps on how to use the torch)
**Tarbinado sugar is recommended (you can sometimes find it sold as Sugar in the Raw) whish available at most grocery stores and gourmet food shops. Regular granulated sugar will work in a pinch but use only 1 teaspoon per custard. **
7. Serve and enjoy!
How to use the Pastry Torch:
To caramelize the sugar, sweep the lame from the perimeter of the custard toward the middle, keeping the flame about 2 inches above the ramekins, the sugar is properly caramelized when bubbling the deep golden brown.
I hope you enjoy this Crème Brûlée recipe! Please leave a comment on how yours turn out and any tweaks that you made to make it your own.
If you should have any questions please leave a comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy #TastyTreatTuesday I hope see you back next week!