No-Bake Vanilla Crème Brûlée
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Credit: Jennifer Reed Adams, CC, CPC
National Culinary Review, November/December 2023
From the Chef
“To play with different flavors, swap the vanilla for 1 teaspoon coconut or orange extract, 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or fresh basil steeped in the milk in the first step.”
4 cups milk
½ cup plus 1/8 cup sugar, divided, plus more for finishing
5 egg yolks
½ cup cornstarch
4 tablespoons butter
1 vanilla bean pod, split, scraped (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
1. Heat milk and ½ cup sugar in a medium saucepot over medium heat until scalding. Turn off heat.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, eggs, cornstarch and remaining sugar.
3. Temper egg mixture by spooning in some of the hot milk.
4. Pour tempered egg mixture into the pot with the milk. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
5. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in butter and vanilla.
6. Pour custard into 7 (6-ounce) ramekins. Cover each ramekin immediately with plastic wrap.
7. Refrigerate ramekins until crème brûlée is set, at least 4 hours.
8. To serve, sprinkle about a teaspoon of sugar evenly across the top of each ramekin. Caramelize using a handheld torch.
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