I learned to love Crème Brûlée on a cruise a few years ago. I am almost ashamed to admit that I ordered it EVERY night (sometimes in combination with yet another dessert). It gave me a lot of pleasure to tap-tap-tap the hardened, caramelized sugar topping. A little shard or two of this shattered sugar combines with the silky custard and it’s heaven.
Next - always bake in a water bath. This keeps the custard tender, and prevents it from becoming rubbery. Last, completely chill the custard before attempting to caramelize the topping. Why you ask? To keep the custard firm - you don’t want to DRINK it.
Just run regular granulated sugar through your blender until it’s almost the texture of powdered sugar (but not QUITE). To sprinkle on an even coating, use a fine mesh strainer - the topping will come out even and have less tendency to burn (unless you LIKE it that way)
Some people use their broiler to caramelize the sugar, but that puts the custard at risk of melting. You can use a culinary torch (fairly inexpensive) or your husband’s plumbing torch (they both produce a FLAME of equal heat) When you torch it, try to keep the flame parallel with the top of the custard dish - instead of pointed down into the center. The sugar will melt more evenly that way with fewer burned spots.
Now... go make yourself some and feel special. You’re worth it. (This makes a really elegant Christmas dessert as well)
For the recipe, go to: