That’s right, now when I see a crème brûlée, I make or I eat one, I can’t help but think about Amélie Poulain from “Amélie” and her small pleasures of life, among which stands out cracking the crust of a crème brûlée with a teaspoon … well, like her, I also like dipping my hands in the grain -or flour-, but that’s another story.

But over time Amélie’s crème brûlée (who knows what’s the recipe for HER crème brûlée?!) overlapped with other suggestions, not film ones, but very personal, small and sweet memories that make me feel like crème brûlée is also my dessert (and perhaps not only mine).

I believe that every one of us bind dishes, savoury or sweet ones, to some moment in our lives, to some people or states of mind. And so, if I have to give a dish-definition of this particular moment in my life, I would say it’s a moment made of pizza and crème brûlée and, more generally, a moment with a lot of food, few pictures and few posts (but you know me, I come and go and, sooner or later, I’ll come back to the fold, at least a little more often). And I would say that, apart from my presence/absence on this blog, I keep the rest very tight.

CRÈME BRÛLÉE

(recipe from Juls’ Kitchen and La Ciliegina sulla torta)

Ingredients (4 cocotte, but I won’t say 4 servings, ’cause it didn’t work for me)

* 400 ml whipping cream

* 4 egg yolks (here some ideas on how to use egg whites)

* 80 g sugar

* half a vanilla bean

* cane sugar

Instruments

* 4 cocotte

* gas torch (but you could also use your oven grill, instead)

Procedure

Place the whipping cream in a saucepan, add the vanilla bean (cut or not, depending on how much you like the vanilla flavour) and let it warm over medium heat; when it starts to simmer, remove from heat and let it cool down a little.

Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk the egg yolks with sugar until you have a whiter mixture. Pour the whipping cream (filtering it through a sieve) on the mixture, stirring constantly, to temper the eggs.

At this point the procedure is twofold: if you follow Juls’ recipe, bring back the egg/cream mixture to the heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it begins to thicken and veils the back of the spoon (do not overcook otherwise you’ll have scrambled eggs!). Pour the custard into individual ramekins/cocotte and put them in a large baking pan with 3 inches of water. Cook in a 320°F (160° C) preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until the custard gets firm. Remove from heat, let cool completely and store in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 3 hours.

If you follow La Ciliegina sulla torta’s recipe, once you’ve tempered the eggs, pour the custard into the ramekins, place them in a pan filled with water (the cocottes must be half soaked). Bake in a 302° F (150 ° C) oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the cream will be firm on the edges and soft in the centre. Let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and let the ramekins in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

In both cases, just before serving, sprinkle every crème brûlée with cane sugar, caramelize the surface with a gas torch (or with the oven grill).

Serve immediately and enjoy cracking your crème brûlée, just like Amélie does.

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