Sunday, May 1, 2016

Earl Grey Creme Brulee

Creme brulee seems to be the epitome of fine dining. I think the smooth custard paired with the crisp finish intimidates home cooks. One thing I learned about creme brulee is that it's actually not a difficult thing to make at home. It's a simple process, though it takes a little bit of time.

I love to infuse my brulee with earl grey tea. It adds a complexity that helps to keep the rich custard from overwhelming. It's a smooth, smoky dessert. The only thing you really need to make it is a torch.

Earl Grey Creme Brulee (Makes 1 dozen)
16 oz heavy cream
125 g egg yolks
150 g Sugar
1 bag of earl grey tea
Sugar, to torch 

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
2. Heat heavy cream. Add the contents of the tea bag to the cream.
3. In a medium bowl, mix yolks and sugar together.
4. Once the cream comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and allow it to steep for about 5 mintues.
5. Pour it into the yolks through a fine strainer to strain out the tea leaves. Mix as you pour to keep from curdling the yolks.
6. Place a flexible muffin tin (silicone) onto a shallow sheet pan,.
7. Pour the mixture evenly into the silicone muffin molds. Then, place the sheet into the oven. Pour water into the sheet pan about halfway up.
8. Bake for about an hour and a half, until the centers are not loose anymore. It should have a very slight jiggle. You can turn off the oven and leave the door open when it is finished. This will vary based on your oven and mold. 
9. Remove from the oven when finished and allow to cool. Be very very careful as the water will be hot.
10. Once room temperature, place the sheet into the freezer to solidify the creme brulee.
11. Once solid, unmold the frozen creme brulee. Dip the tops (small side) in sugar  and torch until golden.
12. Serve soon after you brulee it. You should allow it to thaw slightly before serving.

If you don't have a flexible muffin mold, you can also use a regular muffin tin. After freezing the brulee, you will need to torch the bottoms (the metal) and cut around it with a knife. It's a little messier, but it's definitely do-able. You torch the tin gently so that you melt the bottom of the custard slightly, so that it releases from the tin. 

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