How to Make Restaurant-Quality Crème Brûlée Without a Torch

Do you think that making restaurant-quality desserts requires a pastry degree and tons of special equipment? Well, you’re wrong. To prove the point, here’s a tutorial on how to make crème brûlée without a torch. This recipe is downright simple: it requires less than 10 minutes of prep work, requires no special equipment, minimal dishes to clean, and yields a delicious result.

How to make creme brûlée without a torch

Make creamy, dreamy custards at home!

Creamy, Dreamy Custards Craftsy Class

Impress with classic crème brûlée, decadent lemon curd, satisfying panna cotta and more! Popular instructor Gale Gand shows you how to whip up these crowd-pleasing treats in these HD video lessons. Enroll Now »

You’ll attain champion cook status at your next party when you whip up this easy crème brûlée recipe, featuring a smooth, creamy vanilla-scented custard with a crisp caramelized top that cracks perfectly when your spoon makes contact. Ooh la la!

How to make crème brûlée without a torch

Makes 4 (8-ounce) ramekin servings

For the custard:

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Pinch of salt 

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Step 1:

Position a rack in the middle position of your oven. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Have your ramekins and a large casserole pan off to the side, at the ready.

Step 2:

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. Whisk vigorously until the mixture becomes creamy, cohesive and lemony in color. Add the cream, vanilla and salt. Whisk until smooth and combined. 

Creme brûlée mixture

Step 3:

Carefully divide the mixture between your four ramekins. It should fill them about 2/3 to 3/4 full. If your ramekins have bubbles on the sides, try your best to pop them with the side of a spoon.

Step 4:

Pour about 1/3 inch of water in your baking pan. Place the ramekins in the water, so that the sides are submerged. The water should come about halfway up the ramekins. If the water level is too low, gently pour more water in the side of the pan, avoiding sloshing water into the ramekins. 

Making creme brulee in bain-marie

Step 5:

Place the baking pan with the ramekins in the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, checking every 5 minutes after the 40 minute mark. The cook time can vary depending on the thickness of your ramekins. You’re looking for the custard to be mostly “set” with a little jiggle in the middle. Remove the pan from the oven, and gently remove the ramekins from the hot water by lifting with a spatula. Set on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool for about an hour. You want the custard to be completely set before moving forward.

Remove custard from pan

Step 6:

Near the end of your cooling time, set the oven to the broil setting. Place the ramekins back on a baking dish (no need for a water both this time). Make sure that the tops of your custards are free of condensation (their naturally moist texture is fine, but you don’t want any beads of moisture). If needed, gently blot the tops with a clean paper towel. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops of the custards.

Sugar topping

Step 7:

Place the baking pan in under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, monitoring closely, or until the sugar has melted into a satisfyingly crispy, browned crust. Enjoy your perfect crème brûlée!

Creme brûlée, ready to enjoy

Make creamy, dreamy custards at home!

Creamy, Dreamy Custards Craftsy Class

Impress with classic crème brûlée, decadent lemon curd, satisfying panna cotta and more! Popular instructor Gale Gand shows you how to whip up these crowd-pleasing treats in these HD video lessons. Enroll Now »

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