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Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee in three ramekins with berries.
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Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée

A recipe for Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée inspired by our visit to Downtown Disney in 2013! This creamy vanilla-based custard is topped with a layer of crisp, caramelized sugar for a fun and indulgent dessert at home.
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword creme brulee, dessert, vanilla, vanilla bean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (470 milliliters) heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • Fresh berries

Instructions

  • Place 4 (6 ounce, 170 milliliter) ramekins in a deep, large baking dish and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, place the heavy cream over medium heat. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean and add the emptied pod. Once the cream begins to steam, but not boil, remove from heat, cover, and steep for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325˚F (160˚C).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and salt until light and thickened.
  • Remove the pod from the heavy cream. While whisking the eggs, slowly add the heavy cream in a thin stream, careful not to heat the eggs too quickly or beat too much air into the mixture. If any of the eggs scramble, strain the mixture.
  • Divide the custard evenly among the ramekins. Carefully fill the pan halfway up the ramekins with hot water without splashing any into the ramekins.
  • Gently transfer the pan to the preheated oven without splashing any water. Bake until barely set, but still a little loose on the top, 30-35 minutes.
  • Remove the ramekins from water bath and place on wire rack to cool. Once room temperature, cover, and refrigerate 4 hours to up to 3 days.
  • Once ready to serve, bring the ramekins to room temperature and top each custard with an even layer of sugar, about 1 tablespoon (12 grams). Move the flame from a culinary torch across the entire surface until the sugar starts to darken and caramelize.
  • Serve the Crème Brûlée immediately after caramelizing the top with fresh berries if desired.