Crème Brûlée

Crème brûlée, or ‘burnt cream’, is wicked but irresistible: a smooth creamy custard topped with a delicious crisp caramel glaze. It is usually made in individual little pots or ramekin dishes.


  • 600 ml (1 pint) double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 125 g (4 oz) caster sugar


Put the cream in a saucepan with the vanilla pod and heat gently until almost boiling. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod.

Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with 50 g (2 oz) of the sugar until light in colour. Gradually add the hot cream, beating all the time until evenly mixed, then pour the mixture slowly and equally into 6 ramekin dishes. Put the ramekins into a roasting tin and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake the custards in the centre of a preheated oven, 150°C, 300°F, Gas Mark 2 for about 1 hour until just set – don’t let the skin colour.

Meanwhile, preheat a very hot grill. Sprinkle the remaining caster sugar evenly over the top of the custards then put them under the grill for 2-3 minutes until an uneven caramel colour. Cool and chill before serving.