Lavender-Infused Crème Brûlée

26 August 2016
Crème brûlée is such a simple dessert involving few ingredients.  It begs for experimentation–add vanilla, bourbon, coffee, or chocolate–so it’s never dull.  Like all French dishes, however, it requires that you obey certain rules about technique.  Why would you cook it sous vide?  No, it’s not just to show off, but sous vide actually helps ensure that you don’t curdle your perfect crème brûlée.  It does require that you use a mason jar as your vacuum.  If you try to attempt this with a plastic bag, the crème brûlée just won’t set.  I added lavender and omitted vanilla extract in this recipe, which made for a unique flavor.  You can certainly add the extract to the recipe if you prefer.  I’ve seen some interesting crème brûlée recipes with other extracts, as well.  Orange extract infused crème brûlée, anyone?

As seen in: 10 Days of Sous Vide: Reflections and Sous Vide Crème Brûlée (Final Day!)

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Lavender-Infused Crème Brûlée
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Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings
Beautiful Brûlées
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings
Beautiful Brûlées
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Add to Shopping List
This recipe is in your Shopping List
Instructions
For Sous Vide
  1. Preheat sous vide water bath to 80 °C / 176 °F.
  2. Whisk together yolks, sugar, salt, and lavender.
  3. In a small pot, heat cream until just under a simmer.
  4. Very slowly, pour cream into the egg mixture while whisking. If you rush this, you will curdle the eggs.
  5. Strain mixture and toss lavender buds.
  6. Pour evenly into 6 half-pint mason jars.
  7. Close jars until just "fingertip tight." From the Chef Steps website: "To close the jars fingertip tight, place the lid on top of the jar, then twist the band to tighten using just your fingertips. When you begin to feel resistance, twist once in the opposite direction, then once more in the original direction to tighten. Closing the jars until fingertip tight means that air will be able to escape from the jars when you submerge them in water. If you close them too tightly, the trapped air will press against the glass and could crack or break your jars."
  8. Carefully submerge the jars in the sous vide and cook for one hour.
  9. Remove jars and allow to rest at room temperature.
  10. Prepare an ice bath and transfer cooled jars to ice bath. Once cold, tighten the lids all the way. You can store for up to a week.
  11. Before serving, remove the lids and coat the top with a layer of sugar. If you want a thick crunchy layer, use more sugar.
  12. Set a blowtorch to the lowest gas release setting and evenly torch the top until sugar is browned. Alternatively, use a culinary torch at its highest setting. Be careful, however, to stay at least 10 inches away if using a blowtorch or risk breaking the jar (I learned the hard way).
  13. Let sit for five minutes to allow time to fully harden.
Traditional Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Whisk together yolks, sugar, salt, and lavender.
  3. In a small pot, heat cream until just under a simmer.
  4. Very slowly, pour cream into the egg mixture while whisking. If you rush this, you will curdle the eggs.
  5. Strain mixture and toss lavender buds.
  6. Pour evenly into 6 ramekins. Place ramekins into a roasting pan.
  7. Pour in enough cold water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins and bake until just set, 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Remove ramekins from pan and allow to cool at room temperature until no longer too hot to handle.
  9. Refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.
  10. Before serving, coat the top with a layer of sugar. If you want a thick crunchy layer, use more sugar.
  11. Set a blowtorch to the lowest gas release setting and evenly torch the top until sugar is browned. Alternatively, use a culinary torch at its highest setting. Be careful, however, to stay at least 10 inches away if using a blowtorch or risk breaking the ramekin (I learned the hard way).
  12. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A TORCH: you can broil the topping in your oven.
Recipe Notes

For cooking you'll want to use a culinary lavender.  Using a decorative lavender will produce an unpleasant soap-like taste.

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