“Earl Grey Crème Brûlée” – First of all, I love the way that sounds. It rhymes!
Secondly, I love the way it tastes. It is fragrant, creamy, and completely decadent. There’s really nothing like cracking through the caramelized sugar layer to reveal the smooth custard underneath.
Go ahead, let out that sigh. It’s a thing of beauty.
Now, I want to tell you NOT to completely write off this recipe if you don’t have a culinary torch. My awesome mom (Hi, Mom!) got me this one off Amazon for my birthday last year if you’re in the market for one, but I’ve made this plenty of times just using my broiler as well.
If you want to use your broiler, check out this post on Rustic Lavender Creme Brulee for instructions.
So now you have no excuse not to make it! If you don’t like Earl Grey Tea, you could absolutely make this with a different type – Chammomile or Chai would be pretty darn delicious.
I wouldn’t suggest doing a Green Tea version… I attempted that with a Panna Cotta recently and my whole family can tell you it was kind of weird.
I made a successful Rosemary Lemon Panna Cotta which was very yummy, but my friends Samantha, Laura and I accidentally ate all six of them before I could take any pictures. And we all know that if you don’t have pictures, it never really happened.
It’s just so yummy, you guys. There aren’t really words that can describe it.
One more picture for you to pin, then you can have the recipe. Don’t be afraid of the instructions – they are REALLY wordy but only because I wanted to give you detailed descriptions of each of the steps. It’s not hard, I promise! Ready?
Okay, the recipe is all yours! Go for it.
- 2 cups (1 pint) of heavy cream
- 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract)
- 4 Earl Grey tea bags
- 5 whole egg yolks
- ¾ cup sugar
- Extra sugar for topping
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice your vanilla bean lengthwise with the tip of a very sharp knife, just deep enough to puncture the top exterior (not all the way through to the cutting board). Turn your knife over, and using the flat back edge scrap the vanilla bean from top to bottom length wise to pull out all of that delicious caviar.
- Combine the vanilla caviar, cream, and tea bags in a heavy saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Heat a few cups of water to a near-boil either on the stove or in the microwave.
- Whip together the egg yolks and sugar until they become thick and pale yellow in color. This is best done in a stand mixer so you have an extra hand for the next step.
- Once the tea has steeped in the cream for ten minutes, remove the tea bags and discard.
- Very, very slowly drizzle ½ cup of warm cream into the egg yolks with the mixer beating the yolks on medium-low speed. Once that first ½ cup is added you can add the rest of the cream slowly. Mix until combined.
- Grab out a rimmed baking sheet and place four crème brûlée ramekins on it. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins.
- Place the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven and pour the near boiling water into the bottom of the sheet pan until it reaches half way up the sides of the dishes.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until set. The custard will be quite wobbly and will jiggle from side to side when nudged. It should not be liquid in the center.
- Remove the ramekins from the pan (do NOT try to take the whole pan out with the extremely hot water sloshing from side to side). I’ve found that the best way for me is to use a stiff pancake turner. Cool ramekins on a cooling rack until cool enough to touch.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours.
- When you are ready to serve the crème brûlée, take the ramekins out of the fridge, uncover them, and sprinkle a fine layer of sugar over their tops. You want to get an even layer of sugar over the whole surface, so you may need to tilt, wiggle, and shake the dish to get the sugar to spread out. Tap out any excess sugar. Ignite a culinary torch and hold it near the ramekin so the flame is parallel to the surface of the custard. You want the heat from the flame to be very close to the sugar so it caramelizes, but not directly in contact with it or it will burn. Move the torch around the surface of the custard in a slow, even motion so as not to burn the sugar. Caramelize the surface of all four crème brûlées. Serve immediately.