Alton Brown’s Creme Brulee

Alton Brown's Creme Brulee
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 servings

A delectable French classic, baked until trembling in the centre and then chilled until set. This recipe also requires a blowtorch to crystallize the vanilla sugar on top before serving.



qt heavy cream
vanilla bean, split and scraped
cup vanilla sugar, divided
large egg yolks
qts hot water


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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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