Classic Creme Brulee (4 Ingredients Only!)

Easy 4 Ingredient Classic Creme Brulee- creamy, smooth custard with delicious sugar crust on top. by @Letthebakingbgn

As I was making something with a ton of egg whites, I had some egg yolks leftover that I wanted to use up. Creme brûlée was the first thing that came to mind and since it’s a relatively easy thing to make, I went for it. All you need for this creamy, smooth, custard dessert is eggs, sugar, heavy cream and vanilla bean/extract, 15 minutes of your time and the oven and the fridge will do the rest of ‘heavy lifting’. Now get to it, you know you want to 😉

Classic Creme Brûlée (4 Ingredients Only!)

Yield: 12 ramekins (1/2 cup each)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 6-8 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp vanilla extract or seeds of 1 vanilla pod

For Caramelized Crust:

  • 12 tsp fine sugar

How to make the Creme Brûlée: 

Prep:
Turn oven to 325F.
Line a baking sheet with tall sides (glass baking dish or turkey roasting dish works well) with 2 layers of paper towel or 1 layer of kitchen towel, set aside.
Place the empty ramekins inside the baking dish.
Fill a tea kettle with water and allow to come to a boil.

To Make the Creme Brûlée Mixture 
Add the heavy cream to a large sauce pot and allow to come to a simmer. If using the vanilla seeds add them right now.
Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow color.
Pour the hot heavy cream into the egg yolk/sugar mixture in a thin stream, while continuously whisking to prevent the egg yolks from curdling. If using the vanilla extract add it to the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the ramekins. This is best done using a pitcher.

To Bake & Chill
Put the baking dish with filled ramekins onto the middle rack of the hot oven and pour the hot water around the ramekins until it comes halfway up to the sides. Loosely cover with foil.
Slide the baking rack back inside the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Then, remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until thoroughly chilled.
Within 30 minutes, sprinkle the tops with 1 tsp of sugar and shake around until it covers the surface. Now using a torch caramelize the top.

To caramelize the top:
Hold the ramekin in one hand at a 45 degree angle with the blow torch in another hand. Go over the sugar with the blow torch in circles, rotating the ramekin which will allow the sugar to caramelize the whole surface and make an even layer of the sugar crust.

Here’s an easy print version of the recipe below…

Classic Creme Brule (4 Ingredients Only!)

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Serves: 12 - ½ cup ramekins

Ingredients

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 6-8 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp vanilla extract or seeds of 1 vanilla pod

For Caramelized Crust:

  • 12 tsp fine sugar

Instructions

How to make the Creme Brulee:

Prep:

  1. Turn oven to 325F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with tall sides (glass baking dish or turkey roasting dish works well) with 2 layers of paper towel or 1 layer of kitchen towel, set aside.
  3. Place the empty ramekins inside the baking dish.
  4. Fill a tea kettle with water and allow to come to a boil.

To Make the Creme Brulee Mixture

  1. Add the heavy cream to a large sauce pot and allow to come to a simmer. If using the vanilla seeds add them right now.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow color.
  3. Pour the hot heavy cream into the egg yolk/sugar mixture in a thin stream, while continuously whisking to prevent the egg yolks from curdling. If using the vanilla extract add it to the mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture into the ramekins. This is best done using a pitcher.

To Bake & Chill

  1. Put the baking dish with filled ramekins onto the middle rack of the hot oven and pour the hot water around the ramekins until it comes halfway up to the sides. Loosely cover with foil.
  2. Slide the baking rack back inside the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Then, remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until thoroughly chilled.
  3. Within 30 minutes, sprinkle the tops with 1 tsp of sugar and shake around until it covers the surface. Now using a torch caramelize the top.

To caramelize the top:

  1. Hold the ramekin in one hand at a 45 degree angle with the blow torch in another hand. Go over the sugar with the blow torch in circles, rotating the ramekin which will allow the sugar to caramelize the whole surface and make an even layer of the sugar crust.

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Comments

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  • Creme brulee is my husbands favorite dessert. Funny story, we were in Riviera Maya for our honeymoon a few years ago and were at a resort with 7 different restaurants. We would special order creme brulee at all of the non-French restaurants because we knew the kitchens of the restaurants were all mostly in one area. We loved eating unlimited creme brulee! 🙂 Your photos look so clear and crisp, I love how you set up the photo. Now, would you mind bringing one all the way over to Ohio? 😉

    · Reply
    • Clever of you guys 😉 and thank you for your wonderful comment! Now let me put a couple of them through the fax machine 😀

      · Reply
  • vikalinkafood

    So delicious looking! Creme brulee is one of my favourite desserts in the world. Eating it always takes me back to one rainy day dinner in Paris and sharing a two-person ramekin of creme brulee with Brad. I’ve actually never made it myself but I think I will this week while kids are away at camp. 😉 Thank you for the inspiration, my friends!

    · Reply
    • Oh, I need to make a creme brule-Paris memory…I have creme brule, now I just need to make it to Paris lol
      You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make 🙂

      · Reply
  • Yum! I can’t believe this but I’ve never actually made creme brûlée. I don’t have a torch!

    · Reply
  • MElissa

    Currently making these!! Question – when taking out of the oven to cool at room temp & fridge, am I leaving the ramekins in the baking dish & water bath still? Just curious. Thank you!

    · Reply
    • Hi Melissa,
      You should remove the ramekins out of the water bath to cool. Just remove them and place them onto a wire rack to help the air to circulate all around and speed up the cooling. If you don’t have the cooling rack, just leave it out on the table.

      · Reply
  • Georgia

    I need to make 12 for our group. How many does this recipe make?

    · Reply
    • This recipe makes about 5 cups of the creme brule. Take a measuring cup and pour enough liquid to fill your 12 ramekins and count how many cups water you used. Then translate that into how much creme brule you need to make.

      · Reply
      • Chris

        Recipe calls for eight 1/2 cup ramekins. Here you say “twelve”I did wind up with twelve but had to do a quick 2-step getting more ramekins out and a larger baking dish to put them in! In the oven will follow up…

        · Reply
  • Paula

    Question
    Are you saying to leave the paper towel or kitchen towel in the pan while it’s cooking in the oven?

    · Reply
    • Yes Paula. The water around the towels will prevent it from burning if that is something you were worried about 🙂

      · Reply

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