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Vanilla crème brûlée

Vanilla crème brûlée

Yields 1 Servings
occasions
Dessert
dairy ingredients
Milk
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Vanilla crème brûlée

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

1
Put the milk in a saucepan. Then, with a small, sharp knife, split the vanilla pod lengthways and, using the back of the blade, scrape all the seeds from inside the pod into the milk. Chop the pod finely and add to the saucepan. Bring the milk to the boil, then cook at a gentle simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
2
Put the egg yolks and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk together until a pale straw colour. Pour the hot milk onto the egg yolk mixture. Mix well, then strain the milk and egg yolk mixture through a fine sieve into a clean pan, pressing on the vanilla pods and seeds to extract as much flavour as possible. Spoon off any foam from the surface, then set aside.
3
Preheat the oven to 140°C/320°F/gas mark 3.
4
Pour equal quantities of the mixture into the ramekins or brûlée dishes. Line a deep roasting tin or dish just large enough to hold the ramekins/dishes with kitchen paper. Place the filled ramekins/dishes into this, on top of the paper (during cooking the kitchen paper serves as a form of insulation against the strong heat from the oven and prevents the brûlée from overcooking). Add enough boiling water to the tin or dish to reach three-quarters of the height of the ramekins/dishes. Transfer the tin to the oven and bake for about 20–30 minutes until the mixture has just set.
5
When the mixture has set, remove each ramekin/dish from the water and leave to cool at room temperature. When cold, chill for at least 1 hour. An easy way of checking if the brûlée is set is by hitting the side of the roasting dish. If they have a slight wobble, then you know they are ready.
6
Sprinkle equal amounts of the demerara sugar over the brûlées, then either blowtorch the sugar or place them under the grill. If the latter, preheat the grill until it is very hot. Caramelise under the grill for 2–3 minutes according to its strength.
7
Leave to cool and set into a delightful layer of crisp caramel. When set, place the dishes on serving plates with doilies and serve. Don’t be afraid to scoop some ice cream on top!

The traditional recipe for crème brulée is made with double cream and is rich and delicious. This lighter version of the classic French dinner party dessert uses milk instead of double cream. It tastes just as good but is much lighter. For a bit of variety you can put a layer of stewed fruit in the bottom, such as raspberries or apple. This dish can be prepared 3 or 4 hours in advance.

 

Makes 4 x 10cm ramekins or 2 large brûlée dishes.

Ingredients Checklist

Instructions

1
Put the milk in a saucepan. Then, with a small, sharp knife, split the vanilla pod lengthways and, using the back of the blade, scrape all the seeds from inside the pod into the milk. Chop the pod finely and add to the saucepan. Bring the milk to the boil, then cook at a gentle simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
2
Put the egg yolks and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk together until a pale straw colour. Pour the hot milk onto the egg yolk mixture. Mix well, then strain the milk and egg yolk mixture through a fine sieve into a clean pan, pressing on the vanilla pods and seeds to extract as much flavour as possible. Spoon off any foam from the surface, then set aside.
3
Preheat the oven to 140°C/320°F/gas mark 3.
4
Pour equal quantities of the mixture into the ramekins or brûlée dishes. Line a deep roasting tin or dish just large enough to hold the ramekins/dishes with kitchen paper. Place the filled ramekins/dishes into this, on top of the paper (during cooking the kitchen paper serves as a form of insulation against the strong heat from the oven and prevents the brûlée from overcooking). Add enough boiling water to the tin or dish to reach three-quarters of the height of the ramekins/dishes. Transfer the tin to the oven and bake for about 20–30 minutes until the mixture has just set.
5
When the mixture has set, remove each ramekin/dish from the water and leave to cool at room temperature. When cold, chill for at least 1 hour. An easy way of checking if the brûlée is set is by hitting the side of the roasting dish. If they have a slight wobble, then you know they are ready.
6
Sprinkle equal amounts of the demerara sugar over the brûlées, then either blowtorch the sugar or place them under the grill. If the latter, preheat the grill until it is very hot. Caramelise under the grill for 2–3 minutes according to its strength.
7
Leave to cool and set into a delightful layer of crisp caramel. When set, place the dishes on serving plates with doilies and serve. Don’t be afraid to scoop some ice cream on top!
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