Creme brûlée is one of those desserts that is so simple, yet so satisfying. For some reason, it has a reputation of being fancy, and is seen as a special occasion treat. It might have something to do with being the cliche steakhouse dessert item, or maybe it has a bad rep for being difficult to make at home.
It’s true that it takes some practice to know when a custard is right in that sweet spot of being perfectly done. What else is also true: once you know what a finished custard looks like, it’s one more thing you’ve mastered and now will always know how to do. Here are some key pointers:
- When checking to see if your custard is done, you want to jiggle the dish and see how the custard moves in the center of the dish.
- If it’s sloshing around like water, it’s not done yet. This can also look like it’s water moving under a plastic film. The top layer keeps the custard from splashing out the sides, but the sloshing inside is definitely liquid.
- It’s done if it jiggles like jello. It might be a softer looking jello, but definitely not liquid! You have a few minutes from here to catch it before it over bakes.
- Once the custard starts to bubble on top and get puffy, hurry! Take it out of the oven! You might still be okay if you caught it early. The puffiness will go back down as the custard cools. The tops will be ugly, but you’re covering with sugar anyways, right?
- Sorry if your custards have already started to brown on top. That stuff is eggy (not in a good way) and probably so is your custard.
I know not many home cooks have one, BUT, if you have an Immersion Circulator, USE IT!! It’s the best way to cook creme brûlée EVER! No more checking to see if it’s done, and it’s pretty much fool proof. Set it and done sort of thing. Plus the creme brulees last up to a week in the fridge, always ready to be eaten whenever the cravings strike.
One last thing before we dive right into this silky, tangy, deliciousness.
You don’t need a torch to make creme brûlées at home.
Yes, you heard that right. Simply take a spoon and heat it over flame until very hot. This is now your makeshift torch to melt and caramelize your sugar. Now you have no excuses, go treat yo’self!
Cheesecake Creme Brûlée
- 45 min
- Ready in:
- 2 h 45 min
- If baking, preheat oven to 325°F If using sous vide, set water bath to 176°F
- Blend all ingredients together, making sure all the sugar is dissolved
- Pour into 7- 4oz mason jars
- If baking, place mason jars in a larger roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with 1 inch of hot water. Bake for 40-45min at 325°F until set (see blog post for tips on how to tell if custard is done).
- If using sous vide, screw on canning lids until finger tight. Cook for 1 hour at 176°F
- Chill for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle an even layer of sugar on top of custards. Melt and caramelize sugar with torch or a very hot spoon.