Photography: Karry Hosford
Yield
4 servings (serving size: 1 crème brûlée)

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

How to Make It

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 300°.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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.

Chef's Notes

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

Ratings & Reviews

CherylT's Review

JNBank
July 19, 2014
This is a great recipe. I ended up doubling the cooking time but that may be a problem with my oven rather than the recipe. This is a great basic creme brûlée recipe. You could easily top the brûlées with a little fruit for a nice presentation.

cyclegal's Review

CherylT
April 25, 2014
I made this for our couples book club using Blue Diamond Almond/Coconut milk and powdered goats milk as one of our friends is Dairy intolerant. This recipe worked really well and so if you are needing to modify, it was a hit with everyone. I used the same quantities and times.

Kvavava's Review

KarenCF
December 19, 2013
N/A

JNBank's Review

cyclegal
April 26, 2013
N/A

aaz924's Review

eatitorwearit
March 04, 2012
N/A

eatitorwearit's Review

aaz924
January 08, 2012
N/A

KarenCF's Review

Kvavava
August 22, 2011
I was skeptical of making a lower calorie creme brulee, but this turned out amazing! I doubled the amount of sugar and added a little more vanilla bean. It came out as a sweet custard with perfect texture. It also took a little longer to cook, and I used just granulated sugar and a kitchen torch to get my hard sugar topping. Will definitely make again!!