Follow our steps to make this all-time favourite dessert.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Oven temperature: 150°C
• 600ml cream
• 1 vanilla pod
• 4 large egg yolks
• 175ml (150g) castor sugar
Try the following variations
Simmer one stick of cinnamon or six cardamom pods with the cream for a lightly spiced crème brûlée.
Remove the cinnamon or cardamom pods before adding the egg.
Make chocolate crème brûlée by adding 50g dark chocolate to the hot cream. Stir until melted.
1 Put the cream into a heavy-based saucepan and warm over a low heat. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the cream. Add the pod to the cream as well and heat until the cream is just about to start simmering. Remove from the heat. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes, then remove the vanilla pod and discard.
2 Beat the egg yolks and 50g of the castor sugar together in a bowl. Pour a little of the hot cream into the egg mixture and stir well, then add the remaining cream.
3 Divide the mixture between six ramekins. Place in a roasting pan and fill the pan with hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in a preheated oven for about an hour until set. Remove from the oven and take the ramekins out of the water. Once cool, refrigerate for three hours, or overnight.
4 Put the remaining castor sugar into a pan and heat gently until the sugar melts. Simmer without stirring until the syrup turns a caramel colour. Pour the caramel onto a lightly greased baking tray. Set aside until it is hard.
5 Break the caramel into smaller pieces and then transfer to a food processor and process until fine crystals form.
6 Spoon a layer of the crystals onto the top of each custard. Heat the grill in the oven until very hot. Put the ramekins onto a baking tray and then place under the grill and heat until the crystals melt and turn light golden. Remove from the oven and leave the caramel to harden, then serve.