Last week felt like a hard week. It was the kind of week where your car breaks down and the price to fix it is almost as much as the price of a new used car. It was the kind of week where you set out with a strict budget and then promptly go out to breakfast. And lunch. And…dinner too.
It was a week with a lot of driving and realizing we’re spending a bajillion dollars on gas every month and there’s nothing we can do about it. And that it really might be time to re-think the whole “no internet” thing. And that we miss our friends, and our family, even though we’re only a couple hours north. Last week just felt too hard.
So. We made crème brûlée, and drank champaign with friends.
Meet Blair and Ian, our amazing buddies from Cape.
They came up for an overnight visit. We had a blast catching up, playing drunk bananagrams, fishing…
…and, most importantly, cooking. These two don’t mess around in the kitchen. (Make sure to check out Sea Salt and Chambray, Blair and her sister Hayley’s stunning blog.)
If you’re having a tough week, I highly recommend taking a whack at this crème brûlée recipe. It’ll make you feel super accomplished when it all comes together. There’s nothing more satisfying than when you crack that perfectly crystalized top.
Easy Crème Brûlée
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 2 cups heavy cream or whole milk (we used raw whole milk from a local organic store.)
- 3 egg yolks
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup plus 3-4 Tbs sugar
Preheat an oven to 300°F. Have a pot of boiling water ready. Line a baking panwith a small kitchen towel (this is to prevent slippage…trust me on this one…not a step to skip!)Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a medium saucepan. Add the cream, stir to mix and set the pan over medium-low heat. Warm the cream until bubbles form around the edges of the pan and steam begins to rise from the surface (5-7 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside to steep, about 15 mins.
In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, salt and the 1/4 cup sugar until smooth and blended, 5 minutes. Gradually add the cream to the egg mixture, whisking until blended. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve (we used cheese cloth) set over a bowl. Divide the custard among four 5- or 6-oz. ramekins and place the ramekins in the baking pan. Add boiling water to fill the pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake until the custard is just set around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes. (Make sure they’re not too “jiggly”- ours didn’t quite set long enough.)
Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
Just before serving, sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the sugar evenly over each custard.
Using a kitchen torch, melt the sugar. (If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can get a similar effect by broiling these under your stove. The torch makes you feel like a kitchen wizard though!)