Debbie
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Debbie Puente is the undisputed Queen of Crème Brûlée. Her book, Elegantly Easy Crème Brûlée has been consistently in print for 8 years and has sold over 500,000 copies.

  The origins of crème brûlée (pronounced krehm broo-LAY) are very much in contention, with the English, Spanish, and French all staking claim. The Spanish have taken credit for this sensuous custard as "crema catalana" since the eighteenth century, while the English claim it originated in seventeenth-century Britain, where it was known as "burnt cream" and the English school boys at Cambridge demanded it. It apparently wasn't until the end of the nineteenth century that common usage of the French translation came into vogue, putting it on the map from Paris to Le Cirque in New York City. Its wide recognition today seems to have given the French credit for inventing crme brle. For this I thank the French, because I just don't think there's a market for an Elegantly Easy Burnt Cream book!


Classic Crème Brûlée

Creme Brulee

 

A straightforward and unpretentious creation that is so simple, so rich, so praised!

(Click on the links for tips on choosing ingredients.)

8 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated white sugar (for the caramelized tops)

Preheat oven to 300F. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add cream and vanilla, and continue to whisk until well blended. Strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles.

Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in a water bath (large pan filled with 1 or 2 inches of hot water) and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small, hand-held torch to melt sugar. If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler until sugar melts. Re-chill custards for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 6


© 2004 Debbie Puente
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You may print for personal use. However, without written permission you may not reproduce, reprint or distribute.