Mum’s Creme Brulee

Creme brulee is one of those things that exemplifies French food. Simple, it’s basically just cooked custard with a sugary coating but a mouthful of a well made creme brulee is heaven.

I’ve seen a million recipes for this – this one is from my mum and has never failed me.

You can flavour your custard with things other than vanilla. For example, last time I was in Hamilton I had a ginger flavoured creme brulee which was, quite subtle and delicious. Ginger, coffee, chocolate, nuts, there are plenty of options open to you with this. You can also spoon some fruit into the bottom of your dishes before you add your custard. Berries are particularly nice that way. Just make sure that the fruit you add is not too “wet”. If you’re using fruit from a can for example make sure to strain off all the liquid.

  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 200ml milk
  • 120g castor sugar
  • 1t vanilla sugar (or 1t of vanilla essence or better still 1 vanilla pod)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 egg white
  • 100g icing sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 120C.
  2. Put cream, milk, half the castor sugar and vanilla into saucepan.
  3. Bring just to the boil. Be careful as this can boil-over/burn quite easily.
  4. Meanwhile whisk the remaining castor sugar, with the egg yolks and the egg white in a bowl.
  5. Strain the boiling milk/cream mix into the egg mixture, whisking well while you do so (or else you’ll have yourself scrambled eggs ;)).
  6. Pour or ladle into individual bowls.
  7. Place bowls in a high-sided wide oven-proof dish.
  8. Pour enough hot water into the wide  dish so that the water comes halfway up the sides of the smaller dishes containing your custard mix.
  9. Cook for about 90mins. You’ll know when they’re cooked by looking at them. They should be firm but still wobble a bit when youshake them. Remember that they will continue to cook after you’ve removed them from the oven so they can look a little undercooked.
  10. Place them in the fridge when they’ve cooled a bit.
  11. When they have fully cooled. Sprinkle icing sugar over the top and place the dishes under the grill at full heat for a few tens of seconds, or until the sugar has melted. Watch them very carefully as this doesn’t take long and the sugar can burn. Which believe me when I tell you will stink out your entire apartment.
  12. Take them out and eat them (They also keep well in the fridge).
  13. You can garnish with a fresh berry and a small sprig of mint.

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