Creme brûlée is such a fancy little dessert....but why? It's just a simple custard base, made with ingredients you most likely have in the house. Also, it's a PERFECT dessert for company since it can be made ahead, adding and bruleeing the sugar just before serving. In my humble opinion, the only reason it's not made at home that often, is because people don't have a kitchen torch on hand. That was me.... UNTIL YESTERDAY, WOO!!
I have loved Creme brûlée forever, I order it almost always when it's on the dessert menu, and love seeing what flavors people use in it.
For my inaugural Creme brûlée, I decided to go a little bougie, with saffron strands and cardamom pods. The saffron gives the custard the most rich and beautiful color, a flavor that pairs so well with the cardamom.
This recipe can be used as a base for whatever flavors you choose, so enjoy!
Recipe makes 6 small servings
3 cups Heavy Cream
6 large egg yolks
2/3 c sugar
4 cardamom pods
1/8 tsp of saffron strands
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 c superfine sugar
Using a mortar and pestle, crush the cardamom pods to break and release the cardamom.
In a small saucepan, add 3 cups of heavy cream over low heat. Add saffron strands and cardamom pods, stirring to combine. Once milk is warm turn off heat, let steep for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, get a 9x13 dish (or any oven-safe dish that will fit your ramekins, yet have a high edge for water bath) place 6 ceramic ramekins inside.
After 30 minutes, return to heavy cream and cook at medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges, being careful not to scald. In another small bowl, whisk eggs, pinch of salt and sugar, until combined. Take a small amount of the hot cream and add it to the egg mixture to temper, then add the egg mixture back into cream, whisking until combined.
Strain the egg mixture over a fine mesh strainer into a large, heat safe measuring cup. Pour mixture evenly into 6 ramekins, then create a water bath. Pour water into the 9x13 dish until it is about half way up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until custard only has a slight jiggle. We don't want it to completely firm up while in the oven and be over done, it will firm up as it cools.
With tongs, remove the ramekins from water bath. Refrigerate until cool.
Just before serving, sprinkle superfine sugar over each ramekin. Use a kitchen torch on medium, brulee each until there is a dark amber color on the sugar. Serve immediately.