The thought of Crème brûlée flambée definitely occurred to me.
Over and over and over again. The idea of combining liquor and fire was all too appealing. Could that be why there is now a new fire extinguisher in the house?
Maybe next time.
So, the exact origins of Crème brûlée are a bit scattered and hard to pin down, like most famous recipes, and most Wolverine comic books. It surfaced in the late 17th century, and sort of revolved through British and French cuisine from then on.
You can make crème brûlée a couple different ways. It is traditionally a custard base, so lots of eggs and lots of cream, flavored with vanilla. You can flavor it with all sorts of stuff, I even found recipe that called for rosemary, but in the end I stuck with the original since it was my first time.
The finishing technique can be done three ways.
Flambee! Sprinkle the top of the custard with sugar, drizzle on some liquor, and then set it aglow.
You can also do something closer to a crème catalana, which involves using a broiler to harden the shell, and never a flame.
Or! If you have a butane torch laying around, you can always use that too.
I did pick up a butane torch, but opted for the broiler, since I figured most people would be using a broiler anyway. I will, most likely, use the butane torch in the future. I would also love to play with other herbs or zests, too. Lemon and rosemary is just way too appealing to me not to try!
In any case, when it comes to reflecting a game about shining a light on your enemies to finish them off, this recipe felt too perfect. So here it is, folks:
- 1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp. of vanilla extract)
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- 1 Tbs. bourbon
- 1 Tbs. orange juice*
- 1/3 cup soft light brown sugar
*So, you can get a little experimental here. The original recipe called for “orange liqueur”, which my broke ass definitely does not have. You can use lots of stuff here, but make sure it yields 2 Tbs. in the end.
Get six 1/2 ramekins in a roasting pan or oven proof dish and set aside. I had four 1 cup ramekins and still had enough batter left over. You may be able to squeeze one more ramekin out of this!
Preheat your oven to 300(F).
If you are working with a vanilla pod: Split the pod lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a medium pan. To that, add your cream and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. You don’t need to babysit, but make sure you stir frequently!
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and liqueur together until they are well blended.
Whisk in the cream and strain into a large jug or pitcher. Do not chill! Divide the custard among the ramekins.
Pour the boiling water until it comes halfway up the sides of the prepared ramekins.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the custards are just set. A good way to check if the custard has set is by dipping a knife into the custard. If it comes out clean, the custards are cooked!
Now, remove the ramekins from the pan, and leave them to cool.
Once they are cooled, start preheating your broiler. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the surface of each custard and broil for 30-60 seconds, or until the the sugar melts and caramelizes. Don’t let that sugar burn, or your custard will curdle, blegh!
Now, place your ramekins back in the fridge. Chill and serve!