|Sylvia Jurys Creme Brûlée|
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!!!
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...)
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