Recipe: Lemon Crème Brûlée

There's nothing more luxurious than spending your Sunday night wrapped up in a heated blanket, sipping on a glass of red wine and diving into a homemade crème brûlée. I say this because I've been there, watching a Harry Potter marathon and shoveling lemon custard into my face.

Making crème brûlée at home can be intimidating but is in fact fairly simple. It's a dessert that makes any meal feel more of an occasion. So let's make your average Tuesday dinner feel a little fancier, shall we?

Lemon Crème Brûlée

Yields 6 ramekins

4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
additional sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, add sugar and lemon zest and work them together with a spoon until fragrant. Drop in egg yolks and whisk until combined and any lumps are gone. Whisk in heavy cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice until mixture comes together. Pour into something with a spout for easy pouring.

Arrange ramekins in a baking dish so they are not touching each other or the sides of the baking dish. Pour the custard mixture into each ramekin so it's 3/4 full. Heat about 4 cups of water to a boil, and pour the water into the baking dish to create a water bath for the custards. Water should come half way up the ramekins.

Carefully place in the bottom rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes. Finished custards should be set in the center, but still have a jiggle. Once cooked, let cool on a cooling rack until room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator before serving. 

When ready to serve, sprinkle a heavy, but even, coating of sugar over each custard. Use a kitchen torch to brûlée the tops until the sugar melts and is a golden brown. If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can place them in the broiler for a few minutes, but be sure to keep an eye on them. Serve immediately.