Vanilla Bean Créme Brûlée

Creme brûlée is an impressive, but easy dessert that doesn't take a ton of skill, only patience.

For the longest time, the thought of just making creme brûlée drove me out of the kitchen. It’s one of my all-time favorite desserts and almost always order it when I see it on the menu. Naturally, this means I have extremely high standards and expectations of creme brûlée. 

While creme brûlée has a reputation for being difficult, with a little time and patience, anyone can make restaurant quality creme brûlée. 

Creme brûlée is an impressive, but easy dessert that doesn't take a ton of skill, only patience.

What Is Creme Brûlée 

This French dessert dates back to a 1691 cookbook by a French chef by the name of Francois Massialot. Massialot described himself as a cook who qualified himself as royal, and most of his published recipes had all been cooked for, and eaten by royalty. If that’s not enough of a reason to try burnt cream then I don’t know what could ever be. 

Though, surprisingly creme brûlée didn’t become a popular dessert until the 1980’s when New York restauranteur, Sirio Maccioni began serving it at the recently closed ale Cirque.

While similar to my beloved pots de creme (white chocolate and dark chocolate) creme brûlée is vastly richer and more popular than my other favorite custard dessert. This article from Fine Cooking goes a little deeper than I have, and also goes more in depth about testing for doneness and what you should do if you *gasp* over cook your creme brûlée.

Creme brûlée is an impressive, but easy dessert that doesn't take a ton of skill, only patience.

  • 2 Cups heavy cream 

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 

  • 5 large egg yolks 

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar 

  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 300° have 3 three-quarter cup ramekins and a shallow roasting pan set aside. 

  2. Add the cream to a sauce pan along with the vanilla bean paste. Bring the cream to a gentle boil over medium heat, remove the pot from the heat cover and steep for 30 minutes.

  3. Return the cream to medium heat and bring to a simmer remove from the heat in a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until just combined.

  4. Slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture or the mixture into the sauce pan and cook over medium low heat stirring constantly until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon about three minutes do not let boil.

  5. Pour the mixture through fine mesh sieve into a measuring pitcher, then pour the mixture into the four ramekins, dividing the mixture evenly.

  6. Arrange the ramekins in the roasting pan, pour hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins cover the pan with foil bake until the customers are set with the centers are slightly jiggly when the ramekins her gently shake in about 40 minutes remove from the oven and let cool in the water bath until they are cool enough to handle carefully remove the ramekins cover and refrigerate until well child at least three hours or up to overnight.

  7. Preheat the broiler sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the tops of the child custards to four with an even layer arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet and place under the broiler 2 to 3 inches from heat source broil until the sugar melts and caramelizes 1 to 2 minutes turn the ramekins as needed to cook the sugar evenly. Serve.