The Real Crème Brulée

Make restaurant quality crème brulée at home. Crème brûlée is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a contrasting layer of hard caramel. It’s normally served at room temperature in individual ramekins. The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but can have a variety of other flavorings.



  • 750 ml (3 cups) 35% cream
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 150 g (5.25 oz) caster or fine sugar
  • 40 g (1.5 oz) brown sugar, cane sugar or vanilla sugar for topping


  1. Pour the cream into a saucepan.
  2. Split the vanilla pod with a knife and scrape the seeds into the cream.
  3. Place over the heat until the cream reaches simmering point.
  4. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
  5. Whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar until the mixture becomes light in colour.
  6. Add the warm cream without whisking, to avoid any froth.
  7. Filter the mixture through a strainer.
  8. Leave to rest, then remove any froth from the surface.
  9. Fill the six Emile Henry dishes with the mixture and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 200F. No water bath (bain-marie) needed.
  10. Just before serving, sprinkle with brown sugar and caramelize immediately with a torch.
  11. Crème brulée can be made ahead of time, and served cold.
  12. Decorate with fruit of your choice and a leaf of mint.

20 minute preparation
1 hour 15 minutes cook time
Makes 6 dishes