Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July recipe challenge: creme brulee

When I first started making this recipe, I felt like I was cheating. Only five ingredients? Only 20 minutes to make it? I should have learned from my bread-baking fiasco that few ingredients do not equal less stress.

I used Julia's recipe in the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking (p. 589). No place, that I can see, does she state that you need to bake the creme brulee in the oven after combining the ingredients and chilling the mixture. (Am I right or am I having another pregnancy brain episode? I have re-read these pages several times after I realized that I was about to botch the batch of creme brulee and I still can't find a directive to bake.)

After sitting in the refrigerator overnight, the custard was still foamy, like this...

And runny, like this...

After consulting Google, I learned that I should have baked the custard, let it cool on the counter and then chill in the fridge, before broiling a brown and white sugar mixture on top to make the crust (and then cooling on the counter and chilling in the fridge again to "set" the custard). Thanks, Julia, for leaving out some key steps!

I finished the recipe per the instructions on Google, and it turned out great.

Brad and I ate our portions garnished with fresh strawberries (that I needed to use up).

So, a seemingly quick and easy recipe ended up taking me two days to complete it. Yep, that's typical for my recipe challenges!


Rachel said...

Did you have a torch to burn the brown sugar or how did you do it? Looks delicious!!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Mmmm my very favorite desert! You can flavor it a million ways too. I love ginger or raspberry!

And I actually don't care for Julia's recipes. I think they are needlessly fussy and absent of photos. I do better when I can see what the end result is supposed to look like.