How to Make the Perfect Creme Brulee for Thanksgiving

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There are few better ways to celebrate Thanksgiving than with a delicious creme brulee. Find out how to make the perfect creme brulee for Thanksgiving with help from an experienced chef and instructor in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

What do I love more than playing with knives, or at least as much as? Playing with fire. All right, gang. Today, we're going to torch us some creme brulee, so get your goggles on and lets go. All right, creme brulee. Misconception that it's really, really hard to make. It is not really, really hard to make. There's four ingredients, heavy cream, egg yolks, vanilla bean, and sugar. Poof. That's it, what could be easier? The problem that a lot of people have is they miss a few little techniques. So what I want to do is kind of help you with a few of those techniques. So let's start over here. I have got some heavy cream that's on a low heat. I almost lost my heavy cream. We saved it. It's on a low heat getting nice and warm. Remember cream, milk, they scorch really easily. I need this to get super duper hot. So I'm doing it over a really low heat for several minutes. To that I'm going to add a quarter cup of sugar. Sugar is dissolving nicely. Look at this beautiful vanilla bean. It is amazing. Now we got to get the stuff on the inside out. How do we do that? Super, super easy. Going to lay it down and I'm going to use my pairing knife and just the tip and I'm going to slide down the length of my bean, splitting it open. Once you get part of it open you don't have to try to open the whole thing because watch this little nifty trick. Using the back of your knife, not the sharp part, go to the spot where you got it open and I'm just going to scrape down the length of that vanilla bean. It opens it up for me beautifully and look at that. Look at all that wonderful vanilla bean. In to the swimming pool of heavy cream you go, my little friend. All right so I'm just stirring this around really well so I can get my vanilla bean to incorporate and dissolve in to my cream. So we're going to let those two hang out together. The other side of our relationship for this creme brulee is our egg yolks. I have ten egg yolks here and I'm going to whisk them together. All right, the deal with the mixing sugar and egg yolks together is they don't go together easily. So you've got to slowly introduce them to each other otherwise you scramble your eggs. You don't want to do that. So we're going to add our sugar slowly while we whisk, and we're going to whisk this pretty vigorously till we can see that the sugar has gotten incorporated and it's not lumpy, it's not grainy, it's a nice pretty yellow color. This is nicely whisked together. Now if I turn around and I dump this in to this, I'm going to scramble my eggs for sure. So I think of it like a marriage. They've got to court each other a little bit. So we're going to slowly have a little courtship where I'm going to add in a little bit of my hot cream while I gently stir my egg yolks. Make sure you don't use a whisk. You get a lot of bubbles when you do it that way. We are bringing two opposite temperatures up together. And doing it nice and slow. So now we're ready for the rest of it. They've gone through their courtship, now they're doing premarital counseling. We are together now. Now there's one more little technique that will help you make the perfect creme brulee. You're got to strain it. So I have a nice little strainer right here. And we are going to pour this mixture right in to our strainer. This just eliminates any lumps that may have occurred during that courtship and premarital counseling. Just lose any of those lumps, we don't need them. All right so I have two different kinds of ramekins here. I have a traditional ramekin with a tall sides and then I have one that's short and oblong and a little bit wider. Either one works just as well. I'm feeling a little dangerous so I thought I'd use both. All right so we are going to ladle our custard directly into the ramekins. We don't have casserole dishes and things like that here at the CTE center. We use hotel pans. You can use whatever works for you. The other critical factor is you have to bake these in a water bath. My oven is set at 325 degrees and I'm going to pour some water in to my pan. And you want the water to go up to about halfway beside the ramekin. And you want to make sure that the water you pour in to your pan is hot. You want hot water. That will also help it bake more evenly and more quickly. Take your pan with your ramekins to the oven and set them in the oven, then add your water. Otherwise that little trip to the oven door, you're going to get water sloshed in to your custard. It happens just about every time. So make your life easier and just take the ramekins with the pan to the oven and then add your water after you're there. All right so our creme brulees have baked in the water bath for about an hour. We've refrigerated them for four to six hours. Let them set up. You can see they're nice and shiny. All right, over the top she goes. There's something about that sweet custardy vanilla flavor, and then you've got this burnt sugar thing going on on top, I don't know what it is, but it rocks my world. Now do be careful when handling your ramekins after setting them on fire, as you have just because the edges will still be quite warm. And if you've made creme brulee at home, creme brulee will hold in your refrigerator for up to three days. I wouldn't torch it, I wouldn't put the sugar on I would just hold it minus that and you can have it for up to three days. So it's great for the holidays. Get a batch made and when you have friends and family that just kind of pop in for a visit, all you got to do is just pour some sugar on top and torch it and you have a great, wonderful classy way to enjoy friends and family. So this has been Chef Jen, CTE center, Frisco ISD go have some creme brulee and set some stuff on fire.


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