Creme Brulee

315 Ratings
Recipe courtesy ofAlton Brown

Total: 3 hr 30 min Prep: 15 min Cook: 1 hr

Yield: 6 servings

Level: Intermediate



  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 quarts hot water


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 

  • Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use. 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. 

  • Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days. Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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Propane gas torches are highly flammable and should be kept away from heat, open flame and prolonged exposure to sunlight. They should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Follow torch manufacturer's instructions for use.

Show: Good Eats
Episode: My Pod

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315 Ratings
I followed the directions exactly after reading the recipe and watching Alton's video several times. What a delicious recipe! As good as anything I have had in a restaurant. <br /><b><br />Advice to those trying this recipe for the first time:</b> trust the recipe and video. Do it just like Alton writes and demonstrates using the same size ramekins. It works, including the bake time (45 minutes) and chill time (2 hours). <br /><br />You may notice upon baking or afterwards during chilling a thick layer appear on top. Right before adding the sugar topping, I scraped the thick layer off one dessert just to compare. I then did the caramelized sugar topping on all desserts. Afterwards,  I couldn't taste a difference nor could my other taste testers. Ignore it or scrape it off. It doesn't matter. <br /><br />Once the filling is completely mixed, but before filling the ramekins, do a taste test. I was highly satisfied with the default taste, but if you want extra sweetness or vanilla flavor then adjust to your taste. <br /><br />Also, the darker you brown the sugar topping, the more bitter/burned it will taste and some people like it that way. Alton seems to like dark brown based on his video. When the sugar first melts, it won't be brown, so you can stop before it gets dark and it will still have a hard sugar topping with less burned flavor.<br /><br />Finally, after filling six ramekins of the size shown in the video, I had enough filling left for a ramekin at least twice as big as what is shown. The larger dessert was not quite as firm after two hours. I put it in an ice bath for 10 minutes and it firmed up.<br /> See All Reviews Post Review

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