July 1, 2009

Orange Creme Brulee - Broiled or Torched

Happy Valentine's Day!

For Valentine's Day, I wanted to share with you an amazing French dessert that I absolutely love.  Creme brulee consists of a creamy, cool custard topped with a crispy caramelized sugar crust and it is so addicting!  If you do not own a blow torch, I have included directions on how to use the broiler, which is the method I use.  Also, if you want to get creative, you can use hallowed-out orange peels in place of the ramekins, which is pictured below.  It works wonderfully.

For me, today also marks 8 years of being married to my best friend.  For our anniversary, we went away to a tropical island off the Florida coast and it was such an amazing time.  The weather was sunny and 82 degrees the entire time.  The only negative thing about it was coming home to snow -- that was quite unpleasant!  Happy anniversary, baby!  

8 to 10 servings
Adapted from Epicurious

  • 2 c heavy cream 
  • 6 large egg yolks 
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 1 tsp orange zest  
Sugar crust
  • 1/4 c sugar

Heat the cream and orange zest in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.  Strain the cream through a sieve.  

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, sugar, orange juice and Grand Marnier in a medium bowl until the yolks become pale and slightly thickened.  

Very slowly, drizzle and whisk the cream mixture a little at a time into the egg mixture.  This is to temper the eggs -- we don't want to cook them!

Carefully pour the custard in the bottom of ramekins.  Place the ramekins on a baking pan and add enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  

Bake until the custard is set but still a little jiggly in the center.  I used 4 oz ramekins and it took approximately 45 minutes to set.  

Remove the ramekins from the pan.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3 hours.  

If you are using a blow torch, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving, to allow to come to room temperature.  Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp of sugar evenly over the top of each custard.  Torch until brown and crispy.  

If you are using a broiler, preheat the broiler.  When the broiler is preheated, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and immediately sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp of sugar evenly over the top of each custard.  Place the ramekins on a baking pan and add enough ice water to come halfway up the ramekins.  This keeps the custard cool while broiling the tops.  Place the baking pans about 3 inches from the broiler.  Keeping a close eye on the tops, broil until the tops are brown and crispy, about 4 to 6 minutes.  

Chill for 20 minutes. 


Creme brulee in an orange peel

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