Monday, December 17, 2012

Creme Brulee for the holidays!

Recently, one of my novels had Crème Brulee mentioned in it, more because of its historic significance than because of the food. A new book details the story of how Thomas Jefferson brought Crème Brulee and other foods to America.

Thomas Jefferson's Creme Brulee: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America

I tried making it and it's really much easier than I imagined! Not only was it easy - it was a lot of fun. I plan to make it for our Christmas dinner and surprise the family this year.

Part of the fun is lighting the concoction on fire at the table. You don't have to do it this way, but I'm
definitely going to do it and enjoy the looks on everyone's faces!

Crème Brulee is also known as burnt cream. It has a rich custard base with a contrasting hard layer of

caramel. It is usually served cold. The custard base can be flavored with orange, chocolate, coffee, or

whatever you like. I like mine best plain, as in this recipe.

6 egg yolks
6 tbsp. white sugar or sweetener
½ tsp. vanilla extract
21/2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp. brown sugar or brown sugar substitute

How to make it:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Beat egg yolks, 4 tbsp. of sugar and vanilla in a bowl until thick. Set aside. Stir cream into a pot over low heat until it comes to a boil. Immediately stir cream into the egg mixture. Beat until combined. Pour the mixture into the top of a double boiler and let it heat about three minutes. Remove immediately and pour into shallow baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes then remove and let cool. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Combine remaining brown sugar and white sugar. Add this mixture to the top of the set custard. 

For an exciting finish, use a long lighter to ‘burn’ the sugar. Hold the lighter about 4 inches from the top and move it slowly across the sugar for a few seconds. Great drama!

If you’re not looking for drama, turn on the broiler and place the dish under it until the sugar melts. Keep track of it because it will burn if you aren’t careful. Take it out. Allow the mixture to cool again in refrigerator until custard sets again.

Happy Holidays!
Joyce Lavene
A Haunting Dream 

No comments: