Sunday, January 2, 2011

crème brûlée

EDW gave me a crème brûlée set for Christmas (4 rammekins plus blow torch), and I decided to make my all time favorite dessert for New Year's Eve. I used Pioneer Woman's recipe, which is available online and in her cookbook. I used the cookbook as my guide, but I've just realized there are some details online that would have been helpful. We'll get to them as they come.

First off, I halved the recipe, because 4 cups of liquid seemed like it would make a lot of crème brûlée. I'm glad I did, because I barely had enough rammekins for my halved version (the round ones I had; the oval ones are from the set). I heated the cream and whisked the yolks. In the book, Ree talks about what a great arm workout the egg whooping is, so I did mine by hand. Online? Ree totally uses her machine.
After I added the cream to the yolks, I noticed quite a bit of foam in my bowl. I figured it'd be alright, since there was no talk of foam in the book, and I proceeded with baking the custards.
When they came out, they all had this bumpy skin on them, which I can only assume was due to the foam. I've just read Ree's post about it, and she usually has foam too-- and she skims it off before baking. I totally should have done that.
I did spoon off the skin from one, and I ate it. It was delicious warm, and I may or may not have had more than just the bumpy top layer for my morning snack.
Then I chilled all the custards until NYE night, when Edwin and I stayed in wearing pajamas and eating frittata. It was lovely, and then we figured out the blow torch.
I torched, but didn't get a great brown crust because I didn't use superfine sugar. It still had that magical crunch, and it was every bit as satisfying breaking the top layer.
The flavor was spot on crème brûlée, and EDW and I loved it. I saved the other custards and served them the next night when my in-laws came to dinner.
A word about blow torches: put in a lot of butane. I didn't the first night and my flame was wimpy. I added a lot more when Mary and Steve came over and the resulting crusts were much prettier.

I will make these again. I will conquer the foam. Consider it an ammendment to my resolutions.

1 comment:

  1. "Crème brûlée" has entirely too many diacriticals. And, your crème brûlée is entirely too tasty.

    BTW: If you ever decide to take up welding, you already have the tool for it.