Lavender Crème Brûlée

If you’ve never had a crème brûlée, you are seriously missing out. Smooth custard inside topped with a crispy layer of cooked sugar. When done right, the top gets nice and crispy but the inside stays cool.

For as long as I can remember, crème brûlée has been that thing on the menu that I have to order when I see it. Anyone have those? I’m usually pretty terrible at making decisions but when I see tuna tartare, duck confit and crème brûlée on the menu I don’t have to even consider anything else.

Crème brûlée can be intimidating because to do it right you need a kitchen torch but fear not, there’s another way. I have yet to live with anyone who trusts me with a kitchen torch (I’m not sure what that says about their confidence in my kitchen abilities) so I’ve found an easy workaround: the broil setting on my oven.

If you follow Sweet Sundays on a regular basis, you’ve probably noticed that I bake a fair amount with lavender. I this because I love it, but also because I buy it in large quantities so when I have it on hand, I like to make the most of it.

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups heavy cream
  • ¼ Cup cooking lavender
  • 1 Egg + 4 egg yolks
  • ½ Cup (100g) granulated sugar (plus 1 tablespoon for each ramekin you fill with custard)
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe

  • Fill two tea bags with lavender and cold steep in heavy cream for at least 8 hours. The longer you leave it steeping, the more intense the flavor.
  • When ready to start cooking, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  • In a stand mixer, mix egg, egg yolks and ½ cup sugar until just combined.
  • Meanwhile, remove lavender from heavy cream and place cream in saucepan. Heat cream on medium until just simmering. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour heavy cream into egg mixture. Add vanilla.
  • Pour batter into ramekins and place ramekins on a baking sheet. Fill baking sheet with water to reach halfway up the ramekins. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set in the middle.
  • Remove ramekins from water bath and let cool before refrigerating until fully cool. When ready to eat, dust top of each ramekin with 1 tablespoon of sugar and turn oven to broil high. Move oven rack to top of oven and place ramekins on (water-free) baking sheet on top rack. Cook on broil for about 5-7 minutes, checking on the ramekins every minute or so to make sure the sugar is cooking evenly/not over cooking.
  • Remove from oven, let cool a few moments so the ramekins doesn’t burn you and enjoy!

Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten