The Queen of Beans: Decadent Vanilla Crème Brûlée


| April/May 2005



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Serves 6

One vanilla bean will give this crème brûlée a delicious, subtle flavor; however two beans will provide a decadent vanilla taste. Vanilla bean paste can be used rather than whole beans (2 tablespoons paste is about equal to 2 beans).

• 2 vanilla beans
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 1 1/2 cups whole milk
• 2 extra-large eggs
• 6 extra-large egg yolks
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 2 pinches sea salt
• Vanilla sugar

1. Place 6 ramekins or custard cups in an ovenproof pan, such as a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish, which can hold them without touching.

2. Cut vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Using the tip of the knife, scrape most of the vanilla seeds into a heavy, nonreactive pan along with the beans. If you are using vanilla paste, add it now. Add cream and milk, stir and heat on low to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and let infuse for 1 hour.

3. Remove beans, scraping excess into the cream. Gently reheat infused cream so it’s hot but not simmering.





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