Crème brûlée

by Barry Lewis


4 large egg yolks

2 vanilla pods

4tbsp sugar

600ml double cream

To make your own homemade crème brûlée you’ll possibly be surprised by the minimum ingredients needed, it’s only 4 things – egg yolks, sugar, double cream and vanilla. Of course you can ramp it up with different flavourings or toppings, such as caramelised fruit – you could even whip up the egg whites left from the yolk and do a separate Alaska style topping that you also char with a blowtorch.

In this recipe we will make them and finish both under the grill and using a blowtorch so you can try either way. I have since been reached out by several people that have said making one of these in a more shallow dish makes it much easier to get the caramelisation going, so if you have a more shallow serving vessel try that too if you like!

Pre-heat the oven to 110c fan / 130c or click here for temperature conversion chart

Ok so first up separate your eggs, you’ll just want the egg yolks so maybe use the egg whites for some meringues. For each egg yolk use a tablespoon of sugar, so in this case 4tbsp caster sugar goes into the bowl with the egg yolks.

Now grab 2 vanilla pods and slice them down the centre and scrape out the seeds, putting them into the bowl with the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk this all together until the sugar is dissolved into the eggs and it is nice and mixed up. Leave to one side for the moment.

In a saucepan warm up the double cream over a medium heat until it just starts to bubble, turn off the heat. Pour the hot cream mixture via a sieve into the egg mixture and whisk together. Whisk this well so all the egg yolks are broken down and you have a smooth creamy speckled with vanilla seeds looking custard.

Pour these into 4 ramekins near to the top. Place the ramekins into a deep baking dish and fill with cold water just over halfway up. This helps to prevent cracking during baking.

Next up bake in the oven on a lower shelf for 45-50 minutes or until they are fairly firmed but still have some movement – not watery, but a set custard like movement when you wiggle them, you should just see a slight skin on top of it too.

Allow to cool to room temperature out of the water bath, then place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to set, leave longer if you can.

Remove from the fridge and sprinkle on some caster sugar, caramelise with a chefs blowtorch. If you do not have one you can place under a pre-heated grill again with a little sugar topping until browned, you’ll need the grill to be quite hot though and be sure to dab any moisture from the surface before adding sugar to the tops.