Crème Brûlée seems like the hardest thing in the world to make when you see it done at a restaurant or even looking at fancy pictures in magazines or on blogs like you see here. But here is the secret most chefs won’t tell you… it is one of the easiest and most convenient desserts to feed the masses or to feed just your small family! Here is a few reasons why they are so incredibly easy:
- They are something you can make far ahead of time! They do have to set overnight at least. So, if you are making these for a dinner party or for a dinner in advance, these are perfect!! This is why restaurants frequently have these as an option on their dessert menu. All the restaurant has to do before serving is brown the sugar on top! It still looks like they just spent 5 hours working on this incredible dessert but it maybe only took them 1 minute.
- Crème Brûlée, without setting time (which is 8 hours in the refrigerator) only takes an hour to make! Talk about easy! And it’s done in a simple saucepan and baked in the oven in ramekins for a short amount of time. It also will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days! YUM!
- It takes minimal ingredients to make a simple crème brûlée. Obviously this lavender honey crème brûlée has a few extra ingredients, but you could definitely just make the base of honey, heavy cream, vanilla, and eggs! This also makes a delectably creamy dessert! Use what you can!
Like I said, this is an easy dessert, so let’s get to it!! First let’s talk about all the things you will need:
- 4-cup Measuring Cup
- 4-inch Ramekins (I love Sweese Ramekins)
- Deep Baking Dish
- Stand Mixer
- Heavy Cream
- Lavender (Edible Grade)
- Lemon Juice
- Vanilla Bean
- Egg Yolks
- Powdered Sugar
- Brown Sugar
Step 1: Combine & Simmer
In a saucepan, combine 3 cups of heavy cream, honey, lavender, 1 tbsp lemon juice, vanilla bean (seeds and pod-cut open), and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Once the mixture is simmering, turn it off the burner and cover the saucepan. Allow the saucepan to steep for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Whisk & Strain
Preheat the oven to 300º. In a bowl whisk together your egg yolks. Once your cream mixture is done steeping, strain it through a mesh strainer into a measuring cup. This insures you get out all of the lavender pieces and the vanilla bean! Slowly pour the cream mixture into your egg whites and whisk continuously. Then pour the cream and egg mixture back through the strainer and back into the measuring cup. This insures you have creamy smooth crème brûlées and it puts it back into the measuring cup which has a pour spout! Easy to pour into the ramekins!
Step 3: Pour & Bake
Place the ramekins in a baking dish. Pour the cream & egg mixture into the remikens until they are 3/4 full. Slowly place the baking dish into the oven and use a new measuring cup to pour water in the baking dish around the ramekins. The water should go about halfway up the side of the ramekins. Be careful as to not get any water into the cream & egg mixture inside of the ramekins because then they will not set! Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes for the smaller ramekins (1 inch deep or less), bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes for larger ramekins (2 inches deep).
Step 4: Set Overnight
Place the ramekins in the refrigerator overnight. This is a super important step because setting the custard creates a delicious silky smooth consistency. If you have to speed this step up, place the ramekins in the freezer for 1 hour.
Step 5: Whip It Up
In a stand mixer, combine the remaining whipping cream, powdered sugar, and remaining lemon juice. Use a whisk beater to make the lemon cream. Mix on a medium to low speed until you have soft peaks, this usually takes about 5 minutes.
Step 6: Torch & Serve
Disclaimer: I do not have a kitchen torch!! You can totally toast the sugar on broil in the oven! It works just as well and is so much easier and more consistent than using a torch! Add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the top of each one of the créme brûlées. Place the brûlées in the oven on high broil for 2-3 minutes. Do not take your take your eyes off of them though, because they can easily go from browned sugar to burnt sugar!! Once the sugar is browned nicely and melted completely. Take the ramekins out of the oven and top them with your lemon cream! Serve immediately, but be careful because the sugar may be hot!