Creme Brle (Burnt Cream) Recipe

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Creme Brle (Burnt Cream)

From Dorothy McNett's recipes at If using the raw crystalline brown sugar, allow the sugar to dissolve a few extra minutes before straining into the custard cups. This makes 10-12 custard cups and the recipe can easily be cut in half if desired.

6 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar ( crystalline brown or white)
pinch of fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

about 1/3 cup sugar (crystalline brown or white)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, and salt in batter bowl and whisk well. Combine milk and cream and heat just until warm. Slowly whisk the warm milk and cream into the egg mixture, add the vanilla. Using a strainer to catch the egg solids, pour the custard into 10-12 ramekins. Put the ramekins in a baking pan and fill the pan with hot tap water to about 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake the custards for about 40-45 minutes, or until they have set, yet have an area in the middle that may not be completely set. Use the lesser time for small dishes, the longer time for larger ones. Remove from the hot water bath and set on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes. Refrigerate the custards several hours to overnight.

To serve sprinkle enough sugar (about 1 teaspoon or less) over each custard so that no custard shows through. Use a butane chefs torch (a blow torch from the garage could do) and gently blast each custard with the flame, gently moving the torch around the surface so that the sugar caramelizes easily. Or, simply place ramekins on a baking sheet and place under a broiler for 2-3 minutes, watching closely so as not to burn them. They should brown, the sugar melt, and some darker browned areas appear. Allow to stand about 5 minutes before serving so that the sugar becomes skating rink hard. Serve! This can be done 1-2 hours ahead and then refrigerated, but sometimes it starts to weep and is not as crispy on the top. After a day, it becomes more like a creme caramel on the top, which is good too!

Recipe created 1996-04-30.

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