16 December 2007

Sylvia Jurys Creme Brulee

Sylvia Jurys Creme Brûlée
Christmas is the time for special desserts to be presented at the table for guests and family. This recipe comes from Sylvia Jurys....thank you Sylvia!

Sylvia is the founder of Wine and Thyme cooking school on Lake Okanagan. She shares her experience and love of cooking with all of us who are willing. She is also the pastry and dessert chef at Quail's Gate Winery which is listed as one of the top 4 restaurants in this area.

Creme Brulee is a French term for what we refer to as Burnt Cream. The word brulee refers to the dishes, such as custards, finished with a sugar glaze. The classic custard inherits it's delicate flavour from the simple mixture of cream and eggs, but I prefer Sylvia's recipe with the infusion of vanilla.

When you separate the eggs make sure to remove all traces of the egg white. Even a few drops can produce a lumpy rather than smooth custard. It is also important to keep the mixture in motion as it is heated very slowly which allows the protein in the egg to coagulate without creating lumps.

Creme Brulee has made a comeback at many restaurants and usually comes in a trio of 3 small glasses with 3 variations. Recently I have had Blood Orange Brulee, Pumpkin Brulee and Chocolate Cherry Brulee. All were delightfully creamy and decadent. They have mastered the art down to a science of melt in your mouth goodness....certainly droolworthy!!!

**Creme Brulee**

1-1/2 litres whipping cream
18 large egg yolks
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 large vanilla bean

Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Put the whipping cream, vanilla bean and scraped seeds into a heavy pan and scald over low heat. Do not allow cream to boil.

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a stainless steel bowl and whisk until well combined. Temper the eggs with a small amount of the scalded cream; add the rest of the cream and vanilla and whisk. Let stand at least 30 minutes but preferably 3 hours or more to infuse the vanilla flavour. Note, for the longer sitting time, allow the mixture to cool and then cover surface with plastic film and refrigerate.

Strain the mixture and remove the foam from the top of the mixture.

Preheat oven to 300F. Ladle the mixture into 12 ramekins and place in a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover with foil but leave a space at one end of the pan to vent the steam.

Bake for 1 hour or until the sides of the brulee are firm but the centre is still fairly soft, like gelatin.

Remove the brulees from the pan. Wipe the sides of the ramekins clean and let cool.

When cool, chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.

Note: If storing overnight, cover each ramekin with plastic film. The brulees will keep for 2 - 3 days.

To serve, sprinkle 2 tsp brown or white sugar on top of the brulees; caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch, until deep golden brown. Dust with icing sugar.

Serve with pieces of fresh fruits in season. (ie, blueberries, raspberries...)

Serves 12

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  1. I love creme brulee, Valli. I must buy more ramekins :)

  2. One of the reasons I love Christmas is that all dietary concerns go out the window.

    Creme brulee should be a main course!

  3. I love creme brulee, too. I've made it many times, using variations. I think the best version you can make, is the original-cream, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Otherwise, you miss that custard-y taste in your mouth.
    Although, the blood orange sounds intriguing.

  4. I love the sound of pumpkin and cherry brulee. And I love your christmas angel

  5. That looks delicious! I think I would like a brulee torch for Christmas after seeing that.

  6. I have been meaning to try making creme brulee for a while now. The pumpkin creme brulee sounds good!

  7. Val, My Hubby would be all over this, he loves creme brulee, and orders it often in resturants. I have to say I've never made this, but it is something I shall try!

  8. This sounds to me like "crema catalana"... the clasical version, it's soooooo similar, my husband loves it, but I never dared to cook it.
    Yours looks beautiful and yummmy!

  9. Ramekins are a must..I need more too!!!
    If I made Pumpkin Creme Brulee it could be a main course Peter!!!!
    I still love the vanilla flavoured creme brulee as well Emeline..my favourite of all of them.
    A brulee torch should be on everyone's list Kelly!!
    I knew you would be all over the Pumpkin Brulee Kevin!!!!!!!
    If you haven't already made creme brulee before please give it a try. It is well worth the effort!!!!!!

  10. Creme brulee is probably one of my favorite desserts, although I have never made it at home. Looks like I need to get into the kitchen!

  11. This is a favorite dessert of mine. I really need to get some ramekins already...looks excellent!


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