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crème brûlée

Jam and Raspberry covered cups ready for custard

Jam and Raspberry-covered cups ready for custard

This afternoon I taught a cooking class for 25 fifteen-year-old young ladies who belong to NCL, National Charity League. NCL is a wonderful organization that my daughter, Marissa, and I belonged to when she was in high school. It brings mothers and daughters together in philanthropic and cultural activities. For dessert, I made a super-quick and amazingly easy version of crème brûlée.  Since I made more than 30 servings, the photos are not exactly consistent – different ramekin shapes and different baking pans are pictured, so please overlook that.

Also a little explanation about the “egg photo”… when I’m separating this many eggs and using only the yolks, I save and freeze the whites for a sponge cake or meringue to be made at a later time. To do this, just place 1 egg white in each cup of a muffin tin. Freeze uncovered overnight and the next morning label a freezer zip-lock bag with “Egg Whites” and the date, pop in the “egg muffins” and you’ll be ready to bake another day! The final photo is the 3 stages of caramelizing the top. 1. Pain baked custard; 2. Covered with brown sugar and being torched; 3. Finished product ready to chill and enjoy. Finally, I want to thank the NCL Class of 2012 for being such a welcoming and attentive group of fabulous young women.

Easy Raspberry Crème Brûlée

12 teaspoons seedless raspberry jam
4 baskets fresh raspberries
12 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
3 cups whipping cream
24 teaspoons golden brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread 1 teaspoon jam over the bottom of each of twelve 3/4-cup ramekins, soufflé dishes, or custard cups. Press 5 raspberries, placed on their sides, into the jam in each dish. Reserve remaining raspberries for garnish.

Dozen separated eggs. Yolks for custard. Whites for freezer

Dozen separated eggs. Yolks for custard. Whites for freezer

Whisk yolks and 3/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl to blend. Using the backside of a knife, scrape the vanilla seeds from the split beans and whisk them into the yolk mixture. Gradually whisk in cream. Pour the mixture into a 4 -cup measuring cup with a spout. Pour mixture into ramekins, dividing equally. Arrange ramekins in two 13x9x2-inch baking pans. Pour enough hot water into baking pans to come halfway up sides of ramekins, this is called a water bath also known as a bain-marie.

Filled and ready for the oven

Filled and ready for the oven

Bake custards until set in center, about 50 minutes; test by jiggling a soufflé dish to be sure the center is not still wiggling. Remove from oven. Cool custards in water for 30 minutes. Remove from water and chill, overnight preferably.

Out of the oven, refrigerate overnight, then torch!

Out of the oven, refrigerate overnight, then torch!

Prepare blowtorch or preheat broiler. Sieve 2 teaspoons of brown sugar atop each custard. Place dishes on a small baking sheet. Blowtorch or broil until sugar just starts to caramelize.


If broiling, rotate the baking sheet for even browning, for a total of about 2 minutes. Chill until topping hardens, about 2 hours. Garnish with reserved berries.

Serves 12

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1 Kathy Petsas { 08.31.09 at 12:47 PM }

Linda was a fabulous instructor for the girls of our Phoenix NCL class. She held everyones attention and they all devoured the food she prepared with their help. This dessert was especially pleasing!

2 Linda Hopkins { 08.31.09 at 1:06 PM }

Kathy, thank you for your kind words!

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