Lisa at Champaign Taste is hosting a Julia Child event! This is in celebration of what would have been her birthday, it is also just in time for all the movie hype. I am joining in with a Creme Brulée in honor of the one and only Julia Child. In Julie's Blog~ The Julie/Julia Project, she describes her experience making Creme Brulée. Julia Child's recipe is actually for Creme Anglaise, which is really similar to what we know as Creme Brulée.
This is a basic and simple recipe for Creme Brulée adapted from that Creme Anglaise... Julia loved the idea of firing up her blowtorch to caramelize a Creme Brulée. I don't have a blowtorch, so I just browned mine under the broiler. Not as exciting~ but it works.
2 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla beans)
zest from one orange
3 Tbs sugar to topping
In a sauce pan heat cream until bubbly, but do not boil . Stir in extract or vanilla beans and orange zest and remove from heat to steep for 30 minutes to absorb the flavors. In another bowl, whisk egg yolk and slowly add sugar until it forms a thick ribbon. Slowly incorporate the hot cream into the yolks, being careful to bring the temperature of the yolks up slowly. Stir all the yolks and cream together, incorporate without making a lot of bubbles. When pouring the creme into small ramekins, pour through a small strainer to catch any bits of orange peel or egg yolk. Place the bowls in a 9x13 baking dish and fill partially with water to create a water bath. Bake at 300° for 30-35 minutes. The custard should be set, but jiggle in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Just before serving sprinkle the tops evenly with sugar (a mixture of granulated and brown sugar works well). Either caramelize the tops with a hand held torch or place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the sugar melts. Apparently Julia had no trouble making the custard, but found the torching process harder in her own little kitchen. She used a 30 foot hose and a welder's mask to torch the tops of her Creme Brulée. It is much easier now! Julia Child can be credited with that as well. I topped these with some simple blackberries. Perfection!
Bon appétit y'all!