Family-Style Creme Brulee

Published November 1, 2001.

Why this recipe works:

With a lot of testing, we discovered the keys to the perfect crème brûlée recipe: lots of yolks for richness, turbinado sugar for a crunchy crust, an instant-read thermometer for judging the custard’s doneness, and a final chill for the best texture.

With a lot of testing, we discovered the keys to the perfect crème brûlée recipe: lots of yolks for richness, turbinado sugar for a crunchy crust, an instant-read thermometer for judging the custard’s doneness, and a final chill for the best texture.

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Serves 8

Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks after the cream has finished steeping; if left to sit, the surface of the yolks will dry and form a film. A vanilla bean gives custard the deepest flavor, but 2 teaspoons of extract, whisked into the yolks in step 4, can be used instead. For the baking dish that will hold the custard, one with handles is best; it will be easy to remove the water bath. The best way to judge doneness is with a digital instant-read thermometer. Regular granulated sugar can be used in place of the turbinado or Demerara sugar. To caramelize the sugar crust, sweep the flame from the perimeter of the custard toward the middle, keeping the flame about 2 inches above the custard.

Ingredients

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