Crème Brûlée . The mere mention of this custard of all custards immediately makes my mouth water. It’s delicious and delectable, and I love serving it to our guests.
Crème Brûlée‘s Classic History
It’s a dessert that’s been around for centuries. The earliest known reference to Crème Brûlée is found in a 1691 cookbook, Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois, by Francois Massialot, a French chef who was chef de cuisine to Phillippe I. Duke of Orleans (who was brother to Louis XIV). According to White House records, Thomas Jefferson served Crème Brulee to many of his guests during his presidency.
Crème Brûlée has gone through many changes over time. As a result, today’s version is a rich custard with a caramelized sugar topping. The recipe calls for turbinado sugar to be sprinkled on top of the cooked custard. The sugar is then melted with a torch. The torching process needs to be done very carefully so the sugar is melted without being burned.
C’mon Baby, Light My Fire
Note: I have tried several culinary torches, but I have found the best torch is one I got from a hardware store. It’s basically a blue propane canister, and it’s not elegant or flashy, but it seems to do a better job than the expensive culinary torches.
The Finishing Touches To Our Fabulous Custard
I top each serving of Crème Brûlée with berries, fresh whipped cream, and a mint leaf. I like to serve it in a 4 oz. fluted ramekin, and I will set one in front of each of our guests. Each is encouraged to deliver a firm rap to the top with the back of their spoon. As a result, the sugar crust will shatter making the rich custard accessible to them.
The spoons make a marvelous sound as our guests are try to get that last little bit of custard out of the edges and fluted sides of the ramekin. It’s music to my ears.
For a copy of my recipe, click on Crème Brûlée. The recipe will appear at the bottom of the narrative.