Don’t be intimidated by this classic egg custard dessert’s fancy perception. With these easy rules, crème brûlée really is one of the simplest desserts to master.
We’ve had eggs on the brain lately, but we’re not the only ones. Jenny Park and Teri Lyn Fisher — the lovely ladies behind one of our favorite blogs, Spoon Fork Bacon, recently published their second beautiful cookbook, and it’s all about eggs.
The Perfect Egg includes 70 recipes that celebrate eggs in every from. It features snacks, entrees, and of course, desserts like this surprisingly easy crème brûlée.
“Eggs are such a versatile ingredient and something we eat and use almost everyday of our lives so we were immediately drawn to the subject,” says Jenny.
Since Jenny and Teri Lyn’s blog never fails to spur recipe inspiration and adoration, and since we think eggs are definitely all they’re cracked up to be, we couldn’t help but be drawn to “cracking” the covers of their book.
Oh yes, I did say that.
Jenny and Teri Lyn aren’t rookies in the kitchen. Jenny is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Pasadena, and Teri Lyn attended the New School of Cooking in Culver City. Their recipes are tried and true, but the gals are also seasoned food stylists and photographers, so it’s not surprising their book is anything short of stunning.
The duo met on set about seven years ago, while they were both assisting another food stylist and photographer team. They shared similar ideas and feelings about food, so they began test shooting together to expand their professional portfolios. Their collaboration opened the door for the genesis of their blog, photo/styling projects, and more.
Jenny explains that hers and Teri Lyn’s experience of writing cookbooks (like their first cookbook for entertaining) is categorized by numerous stages.
“We spent a good month or so brainstorming and conceptualizing the overall content,” she explains. “Then we moved onto the untested writing phase, but because we wanted to provide an ample amount of egg info (including farming history, the different types and grades, basic egg cookery, etc) this book also required a couple months of research and more research and fact checking. Then the process continues with recipe testing, re-testing, editing, shooting, re-shooting, re-editing, and so on and so on until you finally get all your year and a half worth of hard work handed back to you all shiny and put together into a real cookbook.”
The recipe testing and shooting are definitely the girls’ favorite aspect of creating a cookbook. “It’s where we get to just get creative and gets hands-on with our work, which is really addicting to us,” says Jenny. Their recipes for okonomiyaki — a savory Japanese pancake — basic breads and beignets are the recipes they’re most proud of.
“We really enjoy the fact that its our own space and we have free reign to create what we feel connected to and passionate about. It’s fun being able to create whatever inspires us without limitations.”
And now, the list of 10 Q’s for Jenny and Teri Lyn
1. Describe your blog in 3 words:
Fun, quirky, original.
2. If you could be one blogger other than yourself, who would you be?
Ashley Rodriguez, from Not Without Salt. Teri and I have had the pleasure of working with a couple of the same companies and have been food ambassadors together on a couple occasions and she’s just as lovely in person as she seems from her blog and social media. She’s charming, graceful and warm, plus she has the cutest family!
3. Which 3 blogs do you follow/are obsessed with/can’t live a day without?
4. What is the one kitchen tool you could never give up?
Knives….I know that’s sort of a lame answer, but it’s so true! I would be lost without my knives.
5. What dish are you obsessed with mastering that you just can’t get quite right?
BBQ Brisket! I’m determined to create a ‘southern, bbq joint worthy’ bbq brisket!
6. What did you have for dinner last night?
A spicy salmon poke bowl with a side of edamame, immediately followed by a handful of mini chocolate covered pretzels.
7. What’s one secret talent outside of the kitchen nobody knows about you?
Jenny: I can still do a double axel today!…Ice skating, haha. And Teri plays the guitar!
8. You’re happiest when cooking/eating:
I’m happiest when I’m cooking…specifically my mom’s comfort food dishes like kimchi, Korean style braised short ribs and pork dumpling soup.
9. The one secret to your success is?
Teri and I both work very hard and have a lot of passion and drive behind what we do. We try to stay as true to ourselves, as creators, and reflect that in our work as much as possible.
10. What’s next for you both? Do you see another cookbook in your future?
We have a couple of fun projects currently in the works. We’re taking a little break from cookbooks at the moment, but we’re always open to the idea of another book!
What’s in This Crème Brûlée?
To make this easy crème brûlée recipe, you’ll need surprisingly few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Heavy cream
- Superfine sugar
- Vanilla bean
- Egg yolks
- Sanding sugar
Because the ingredients list is so minimal, you can’t substitute any of the ingredients. And before you ask, no, I don’t think there’s a way to make this dairy- or egg-free.
How to Make Crème Brûlée
I’m telling you, crème brûlée couldn’t be easier to make! You’ll first need to combine the heavy cream with half of the superfine sugar. Then, scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean pod. Bring the mixture to a simmer while whisking constantly. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool for 10 or so minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks with the remaining superfine sugar. Once slightly cooled, pour the hot cream mixture over the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
Ladle the custard into high sided ramekins that have been placed on a baking pan. Place the baking pan in the oven, then pour hot water into it so it reaches about 2/3 of the way up the pan.
Bake the homemade crème brûlée until the top is set but still slightly jiggly. Once out of the oven, let them cool for an hour on the counter, then pop them in the fridge to cool for another hour.
Just before serving, sprinkle the crème brûlée with sanding sugar. Slowly wave a kitchen torch back and forth over the sugar one custard at a time until the sugar melts and changes to an amber color.
Can I Prep This in Advance?
Yes, you can bake the crème brûlée and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days before enjoying it. Wait to torch the top until just before serving it.
Do I Have to Use a Kitchen Torch?
You could go ahead and try to broil these babies under the broiler, but you’ll be hard pressed to get the same effect. If you’re going to be making these often—which you will because once you make them the first time, it won’t be the last—invest in a hand held kitchen culinary torch. There are several on the market, but this one seemed reasonably priced and did the job.
Tips for Making Crème Brûlée
Crème brûlée sounds so fancy, so intimidating. Maybe it’s all those accent marks? But it’s actually one of the easiest desserts I’ve made, with little hands on-time. However, there are a few tricks to make it successful. Good thing we have the Spoon Fork Bacon team in our back pocket.
First, you’ll need ramekins for baking the individual servings. You could use standard issue ramekins like these, but I discovered these cute ramekins with handles and snatched them right up. They’re just a bit more festive, but either will work swell.
Breaking through the crackle of the crispy, crackled crust is what distinguishes this dessert from a simple baked custard or pudding to elevate it to something noteworthy. To achieve that notable crust, you’ll need sugar.
I use sanding sugar (coarse crystals) because it melts easier than the finer sugar, but you can try what you have on hand. I often ask the grocery story bakery if I can buy a little container from their supply and they are usually most agreeable.
And perhaps the most important tip in cooking this easy crème brûlée is to allow the hot cream and sugar mixture to cool down just a bit before adding it to the egg mixture, and to add slowly while whisking constantly. Because while we do love eggs, we don’t love scrambled egg brûlée.
More Holiday Desserts You’ll Love
- Mom’s Homemade Easy Fudge Recipe
- Pull-Apart Cinnamon Pecan Rolls
- The Best No-Bake Cookies with Coconut
- Mascarpone Pumpkin Mousse Cups
- Caramel Apple Pie
- Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream Sauce
Easy Crème Brûlée
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 vanilla bean , halved lengthwise
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup sanding sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Stir together the cream and 1/2 cup of the superfine sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the inside of the pod halves and add them to the pan along with the pod halves. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat, whisking constantly, until the edges of the mixture just start to bubble. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes then discard the vanilla bean pod.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup superfine sugar until light and pale yellow.
- Strain the cream mixture into a 4 cup pyrex measuring cup or another bowl then slowly pour about 1/4 of the hot cream mixture (about 3/4 cup) into the yolks in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly. Slowly whisk the rest of the cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
- Place the ramekins on a high sided baking pan and ladle the custard, dividing it equally among the ramekins. Place the baking pan in the oven and carefully pour hot water into the pan to reach 2/3 of the ay of the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the custards are mostly set but still a bit wobbly in the center. Tent the ramekins with aluminum foil if they begin to brown.
- Carefully remove the baking pan from the oven, and then carefully remove the custards from the water bath. Cool for 1 hour then refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 3 days.
- To serve, sprinkle with 1 generous tablespoon of the sugar evenly over the top of each custard. Slowly wave a kitchen torch back and forth over the sugar one custard at a time until the sugar melts and changes to an amber color. Let the custards sit just until the sugar hardens then serve immediately.
More Classic Desserts to Master
- German Chocolate Cake
- My Favorite Pumpkin Roll Recipe
- Confetti Cake with Buttercream Frosting
- Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Dark Chocolate Brownies
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
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