I feel like we left creme brulee a little short last Friday, so I thought we’d revisit with a short history and another delectable recipe.
Creme brulee which means ‘burnt cream’ in French, is a dessert with a rich custard base topped with a layer of sugar which is then burned using a salamander and becomes a hard caramel.Â What an interesting dessert, who would have thunk this one up?
We first see the recipe for creme brulee in Massialot’s cookbook in 1691 in France, however, Trinity College in Cambridge, England also lays claimÂ to the origin of the sweet custard. Â TheyÂ contend to be the first producer of the dessert in the 1600’s where they named it ‘Cambridge Burnt Cream’ or ‘Trinity Cream’ and have a specialÂ branding ironÂ with the official college crest which is used to burn the sugar top.
Here is the Trinity College Burnt Cream / Creme Brulee Recipe, I wish I could have found a pic of the branding iron.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 8 tablespoons sugar
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 325 F, or 110 C.Â
In a small saucepan – put the creamÂ & vanilla extractÂ extractÂ over the lowest possible heat. Slowly, bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.Â
InÂ a large bowl-Â beat the eggs, yolks & 2 tablespoons of sugar until the mix is thoroughly blended. Pour the hot cream onto this mixture, whisking all the time. Pour this mixture through a sieve back into the saucepan and place over very low heat.
Cook without letting the mixture boil until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour into 6 custard cups and place these in a shallow baking dish into which they fit with plenty of room to spare. Cover each one with foil, then add water to the baking dish so it comes halfway up the sides of the cups.
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and insert a knife blade into the center of the custards. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, replace the foil and cook until they are ready.
Cool, then chill for 3 hours.Â An hour before serving, preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons of sugar in an even layer over the surface of each custard. Place under the hot broiler and leave it until the sugar melts into a layer of golden-brown caramel.
This takes between 3 and 5 minutes, depending on the temperature of the broiler and the thickness of the sugar layer. Watch it carefully; once the sugar begins to melt, it can easily burn. Leave for 3 to 4 minutes to cool the caramel before serving. Serve with a few berries as garnish.
I hope you enjoyed this age-old recipe.