The other day I posted on my Facebook page that I was making crème brûlée as a dessert for our Sunday family dinner. Instantly many of you called for the recipe as, devout readers of The Detox Diva will know, crème brûlée, when made with pastured grass-fed ingredients, provides digestible protein, healthy saturated fats, a slew of vitamins and minerals, and pro-metabolic sugar which help support a healthy thyroid as well as aid in the detox of used hormones, endotoxin and other waste products as a healthy liver needs enough glycogen (from glucose) to support such processes.
I am a lover of all things custard including ice creams and panna cotta but crème brûlée remains one of my favorites as the brittle caramelized topping gives way begrudgingly to the seductively creamy custard that lies beneath.
4 cups heavy cream (preferably raw or, at least, organic)
3/4 cups cane sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste)
7 large pastured egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup sugar
Prepare oven and baking dishes: Heat oven to 300 degrees. Bring a kettle or pot of water to a boil. Place eight 5-ounce ramekins in a large roasting pan.
Gently heat cream: In a medium saucepan, combine cream and half the sugar (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons). Scrape vanilla bean seeds into pan, then add pod. Heat over medium heat until just heated through and bubbles form around the pan,7 to 8 minutes. (do not let boil).
Whisk egg yolks: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with remaining sugar and the salt.
Temper eggs: Using a ladle to pour a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisk quickly to combine. (If you skip this step or do not stir quickly enough you will end up with cooked eggs.) Add two more ladles of cream mixture, one at a time, whisking to combine preferably during each addition. Gradually whisk in remaining cream mixture. Strain through a fine sieve into a large liquid measuring cup (to remove the vanilla pod and any cooked bits of egg).
Bake: Divide custard evenly among baking dishes. Place pan in oven. Add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake until custards are just set (they should tremble slightly in center when shaken), 30 to 40 minutes.
Chill: Remove pan from oven. Remove dishes carefully from hot-water bath and place on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours (or up to 3 days) before serving. The custard will finish setting in the refrigerator. If you like, transfer the custards to the freezer 15 minutes before serving to ensure they stay cold after being bruleed (this is especially important if using the broiler).
Caramelize tops and serve: Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar over each custard. Working with one at a time, pass the flame of the torch in a circular motion 1 to 2 inches above the surface of each custard until the sugar bubbles, turns amber, and forms a smooth surface. Serve immediately.*
*Alternatively you can place the sugar topped custards directly under a broiler and, watching carefully, broil them for about 1-2 minutes.