Crème Brûlée is one of those ubiquitous dessert items that you see on just about every menu in New York. Because of that, I pretty much assumed that it would be easy to make. And it is, for sure, but it takes a while to cook and then chill in the refrigerator. I wouldn’t whip this up for myself on a random weeknight, but it’s a good dessert if you’re having a dinner party, because it requires you to to make it in advance. Just be very, very careful if you’re trying to blow-torch the tops after a few glasses of wine!
I own a crème brûlée blowtorch. I’m vaguely puzzled by that fact, because this weekend was the second time I’ve ever made crème brûlée in my life. But it was on sale, and I was talking to the most persuasive salesperson at Williams Sonoma ever. She was all, “oh, you’ll be surprised how much you use this. You can even use it to grill cheese on sandwiches!” And I was all, “oh, that’s a great idea! I’ve always wanted to eat untoasted bread with melted cheese on top, thanks to my blowtorch.” So, I bought it.
If you don’t have a crème brûlée mini-blowtorch, you can use your oven broiler (or toaster oven, actually). Which is actually how normal people melt cheese on their sandwiches. Sigh.
Cinnamon Crème Brûlée
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp sugar
2 large egg yolks
Additional sugar, for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, vanilla and cinnamon to a scald (small bubbles around the edge of the pan but not boiling). Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and the egg yolks until pale in color.
4. Whisk in the cream to the egg yolks a little at a time. Pour the liquid into 2 ramekins.
5. Place the ramekins into a large pan, and fill the pan with warm water halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
6. Bake just until the crème brûlée is set, but still wobbly in the center (about 30 minutes).
7. Refrigerate the ramekins for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days before serving.
8. Before serving, dust sugar on the tops of crème brûlée with sugar, and melt sugar with a crème brûlée torch or over broiler. Serve!