Meyer Lemon Creme Brulee
Note: The recipe I’m sharing is the basic crème brûlée recipe that I make with a bit of Meyer lemon zest added, so if you’re in the mood for plain vanilla, just leave out the zest. No other changes will be necessary.
Also, as far as sugars for the crispy crème brûlée top, I’ve used demerara, regular granulated sugar, and caster (superfine) sugar. All will work, but I prefer a good layer of the caster sugar. I’ve found it melts quicker and more evenly. But caster sugar can be hard to find, so another option, if you’d like to try the finer sugar, is to pulse regular granulated sugar in a food processor a few times, not until it’s powdered sugar, but finer than regular granulated sugar.
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoon good vanilla (I like to use Pure Vanilla Bean Paste.)
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- zest from 2 Meyer lemons, about 1 teaspoon
- 7 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- hot water enough for water bath
- 6 tablespoons superfine sugar (caster sugar) (granulated, turbinado or demerara will work too)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Place 6 ramekins (about 6 ounces each) onto a roasting pan, baking pan, or rimmed baking sheet.
If using a vanilla bean, split it in half and scrape the seeds out with a knife. Add vanilla bean and seeds (or vanilla/vanilla paste), to a saucepan along with the cream and Meyer lemon zest. Slowly warm cream mixture over medium heat, just until foam begins to form around edge. Remove from heat, and let mingle for about 10-15 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until it begins to lighten in color and slightly thicken.
Strain the cream mixture at this time.
While continuing to stir, very gradually add the cream mixture into the egg/sugar mixture until all is combined to create the custard base. Work slowly to avoid cooking the eggs.
Pour equal amounts of custard mixture into the ramekins. Transfer baking pan (with filled ramekins) to oven and pour enough hot water into baking pan to come to halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake until custard is set, but still a little jiggly in the center, anywhere from 35-45 minutes, remove from oven, let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
When ready to serve, evenly spread the superfine sugar over tops of custards. Using a torch, carefully melt the sugar until golden brown. Let cool until sugar hardens and enjoy!