I don’t want to be a complainer, but…
I am so.over.winter.
Warm weather you can definitely come back now.
I am totally ready for days without big thick sweaters, big boots, and parkas. Bring on the flip flops.
But the good news is that this creme brûlée pretty much saved the day. It’s one of my absolute favourite desserts, ever.
I’ve been making it since my early teenage years, and somehow remember it involving double boilers and all that jazz but this recipe is super duper easy and fast. No double boilers just a pot and a bowl and a few hands on minutes and you’ve got one delicious dessert. Pretty much every restaurant has this on their menu, but guys, it’s so easy to make! Your valentine will be super impressed you made this because it tastes so darn good and seems so fancy.
The base of this is a basic vanilla bean creme brûlée which is topped with some gorgeous caramelized blood oranges which I think just makes this so beautiful and seasonal. My 4 year old has been obsessed with blood oranges lately and thought it was the most hilarious thing that they were called ‘blood’ oranges. He quite literally thought they were filled with blood. Obviously that was the coolest thing ever. Boys.
A super quick and easy vanilla bean creme brûlée topped with gorgeous seasonal blood oranges
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 vanilla bean
- 8 large egg yolks
- 2 Blood oranges (or navel oranges)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare 6-8 shallow baking cups or ramekins. Set aside a roasting pan (or 2) that will fit all the vessels inside.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the cream, sugar, and salt. Using a sharp paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and add it to the cream along with the pod. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat and cover for 20 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks to break them up. Slowly whisk in the cream mixture into the yolks. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup. Divide the custard among the cups. Place the cups into the roasting pan. Put the pan into the oven then pour hot water in the pan until it reaches up about halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until set but still slightly jiggly, about 30 minutes. (If you use deeper ramekins this will probably take longer. It took that long in the shallow cups pictured)
- Remove the cups from the water and cool on a cooling rack until room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cool, about 3 hours.
- Using a sharp paring knife, trim the ends from the orange then remove the peel following the contour of the orange. Be sure to remove all the white pith. Cut the orange crosswise into thin slices.
- In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally until the syrup becomes a deep amber colour. Remove from the heat and the oranges and swirl to coat.
- Just before serving, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of sugar on the custard in a thin and even layer. Using a kitchen torch, burn the sugar. Alternatively, you can use a broiler. Preheat the broiler, and place cups on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet on the highest shelf and allow the sugar to melt and caramelize. This will happen quickly so keep an eye on it so they don't burn. Let sit at room temperature for sugar to harden for a few minutes. Top with caramelized oranges and serve immediately.
Caramelize the sugar just prior to serving. Custard can be made up to 2 days ahead and covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. If blood oranges are not in season or available, regular oranges can be substituted.
From Home Baked Comfort (Williams-Sonoma) (which is one of my favourite recipe books!)