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Photography: Karry Hosford Photo by: Photography: Karry Hosford

Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée

This elegant dessert calls for just 5 ingredients, making it as budget-friendly as it is delicious!

Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2003

  • Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 crème brûlée)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • Dash of salt

Preparation

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat mixture over medium heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil), stirring occasionally. Remove milk mixture from heat. Cover and steep 30 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk mixture; reserve bean for another use.

Preheat oven to 300°.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar, egg yolks, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.

Divide the mixture evenly among 4 (4-ounce) ramekins, custard cups, or shallow baking dishes. Place ramekins in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch.

Bake at 300° for 25 minutes or until center barely moves when ramekin is touched. Remove ramekins from the pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Sift 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over each custard. Holding a kitchen blow torch about 2 inches from the top of each custard, heat the sugar, moving the torch back and forth, until sugar is completely melted and caramelized (about 1 minute). Serve crème brûlée immediately or within 1 hour.

Note: If you don't have a kitchen blow torch, you can make the sugar topping on the stovetop. Place 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat 5 to 8 minutes or until golden. (Resist the urge to stir, since doing so may cause the sugar to crystallize.) Immediately pour the sugar mixture evenly over cold custards, spreading to form a thin layer.

Note:

To prevent skins from forming while the custards cool, gently press plastic wrap to the top of each.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 262
  • Calories from fat: 26%
  • Fat: 7.5g
  • Saturated fat: 3.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.8g
  • Protein: 11g
  • Carbohydrate: 37.8g
  • Fiber: 0.0g
  • Cholesterol: 224mg
  • Iron: 0.7mg
  • Sodium: 177mg
  • Calcium: 328mg
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Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée recipe

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