Creamy, Dreamy Crème Brulee

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on August 4, 2010

I have been making crème brulee for many years…you know, that delectable baked custard with a crispy caramel top that is created by taking the hubby’s blowtorch and blasting the sugary topping with a little dragon breath until you have achieved a thin caramel goodness…

For many years, I was like most people in that I would go and by all of the traditional ingredients…you know eggs (only used the yolks), cream/milk, sugar, vanilla…then I discovered a recipe in a Borden’s catalog that completely changed my mind. This recipe makes the best crème brulee you have ever tasted, and there is no waste whatsoever…I usually make some when I have some leftover yolks, and just buy however many cans of condensed milk and evaporated milk that I need. I modified the recipe to make crème caramel and the filling for keylime pies, which are also provided for you on this blog. There are slight variations in the amount of yolks used, but it does make a difference. The key to a great crème brulee is to have the right amount of yolks, otherwise it will taste too eggy. In a brulee, you can get away with a few less than the crème caramel, because the dessert remains in the cup…As with all custards, you also have to be careful not to overcook it, because it will become dry and rubbery…and that does not make for a good dessert.

Crème Brulee (serves 5)
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of evaporated milk
6 large yolks
2 teaspoons of vanilla
Granulated sugar for the topping

Add all of the ingredients to a medium sized bowl and mix well. I use 5 yolks, but if you prefer a firmer custard, then use the 6th one. Once mixed, strain the liquid into a large measuring cup and pour into your ceramic ramekins. Put these into a larger dish that you will now fill half way with cold water. Bake in a 350°F for 40-45 minutes, until they are firm but wiggle like jello when you knock against the pan. Remove them immediately from the hot water and onto a small sheet pan, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When well chilled, take a spoonful of granulated sugar and completely coat the top…then go at it with the blowtorch. Caramelize it as much as you like, wait until it cools and enjoy!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella August 4, 2010 at 8:51 p

Catarina I very much agree about the egg yolks! Sometimes it’s just too eggy but sometimes, like Goldilocks said, it’s juuust right :)

avatar Anna Johnston August 4, 2010 at 9:16 p

This is interesting, I’m with NQN here, a lot of Brulee’s are just too eggy for me. I’d like to give this recipe a go though, always in search of the ultimate Brulee.

avatar Caterina Borg August 6, 2010 at 9:47 p

Hi Anna!! Thanks for the kudos…It is definitely easier to make than most and you don’t have to buy a lot of stuff that you may not use all of…so in that sense, it is definitely a win win…

avatar Cadie Nguyen October 21, 2011 at 10:44 p

For the baking is it Fahrenheit or Celsius, because you put Celsius but when I changed it to Fahrenheit, it turned to over 600 degrees. My oven only goes up to 550 F though.

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet October 27, 2011 at 6:42 p

Here in the USA we use Farenheight for our oven temps…

avatar Kyby3811 July 24, 2012 at 5:26 p

Hi, it seems like your recipe is similar to creme caramel or leche flan Filipino recipe. I know how to make creme caramel, so would you say it’s similar?

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet July 27, 2012 at 10:35 p

Hi there! Yes it is essentially the same thing, as you can see here in my recipe There is no reason why you should have different recipes, just modify it for your application. Hope that helps you!

avatar Mikie James November 17, 2012 at 7:11 p

Made this last night, didn’t really taste like real creme brûlée, could only really taste the condensed milk, think ill use heavy cream method next time

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet November 19, 2012 at 7:52 p

Hi Mikie and thanks for writing in! I find that this is really a great recipe for many people who want to make something a little fancier but are not inclined to buy too many ingredients. When making creme brulee other ways you need both heavy cream and whole milk together, not one or the other. The condensed milk simplifies that. The key is to use a good quality of vanilla and enough of it that is complimentary to the delicate condensed milk flavor, which I grew up eating and love…

avatar Tiffany Kraystle March 17, 2013 at 8:09 p

Is the Condensed milk Sweetened Condensed Milk?

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet March 18, 2013 at 10:24 p

Hi Tiffany! Yes, when you see the term ‘condensed’ milk you can assume it means ‘sweetened condensed milk’…sometimes people confuse this with ‘evaporated’ milk, but that is a totally different thing…

avatar Steven S September 12, 2013 at 12:03 p

hi my name is Steven, I am nowhere near your cooking skill. Lets say this will be my first time cooking creme burlee. I am wondering is your recipe taste more milky? because my wife loves the milk taste creme burlee. We had an creme burlee that had too much egg taste. She didnt take it well. So I am trying to make my first creme burlee taste more milky. And as i mentioned I never use your recipe or cook at all. I hardly can imagine your recipe’s outcome. Please tell me. So here is my questions.
it will be milkier than regular creme burlee recipe?
If i replace the evaporated milk with whole fat milk, will it work and be milkier?
thanks a lot!

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet September 20, 2013 at 7:29 p

Hi Steven, and thanks so much for writing in to me. This recipe uses condensed milk, so it is very milky and creamy. I know exactly what you mean about the ‘eggy’ texture and smell of custards, I have experienced it myself when I have tried some desserts in the past. I think you will be very pleased with this one, so please write back and let me know how it goes if you have a chance to try the recipe.

avatar Philippa January 7, 2014 at 6:55 p

Hi Caterina – I’m definitely going to try this! Just one question – what size can(s) do you use? Here in the UK there are several different sizes available and I want to make sure I get it right!
Thanks so much.

avatar Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet January 7, 2014 at 9:58 p

Hi Phillipa, thanks for getting in touch with me! The condensed milk is a 14 oz can and the evaporated milk is a 12 oz can…that is pretty standard here in the USA…hope this helps you! xo

avatar Lynette August 2, 2015 at 5:37 p

I just made this and it is delicious, not too sweet and smooth. My husband likes sweet stuff and he likes this very much

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