The Foolproof Way to Make Creamy-Crackly Crème Brûlée

By ChefSteps Team Posted January 22, 2015

What is a custard, anyway? It is a delicious dessert, yes, but technically speaking it's a liquid that has been thickened or set via the coagulation of egg protein. 

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What is a custard, anyway? It is a delicious dessert, yes, but technically speaking it's a liquid that has been thickened or set via the coagulation of egg protein. The key to perfect custards is to keep the internal temperature of the mixture below 185 °F / 85 °C—above that point, they have a tendency to curdle. And curdling, dear friends, is the bane of any custard baker.

Enter sous vide. By cooking custards in a sous vide bath, we can precisely dictate the temperature to which they are heated, thus eliminating the risk of a curdled dessert. We prepare our Crème Brûlée—along with other delightful eggy treats, scroll down for those recipes—in small Mason jars, so the desserts emerge individually portioned in their own adorable vessel. Before serving, we add a golden-brown layer of caramelized sugar using a blowtorch—don't worry if you've never tried it, we'll walk you through the technique. The result: a sunshine-hued dessert with a deliciously crackly top and a whisper of elegant sweetness, easy to whip up (even if you're serving a large group) and eminently satisfying.

Equipment: Sous vide setup, wide-mouth canning jars, blowtorch, tea strainer or other fine-mesh strainer (optional)

Get the full recipe at chefsteps.com

Related: French Desserts
Beautiful Desserts
America's Best Salty-Sweet Desserts

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