What am I celebrating?

July 21, 2012

National Creme Brulee Day – July 21.  How terrific is that – a dessert with its own holiday. . . and one of my favorite desserts to boot!  This is one of the dishes that I try whenever I find it on the menu.  And I have rules – just give me straight creme brulee.  It does not need mango, or key lime, or chocolate, or anything else.
One of the best creme brulee I have had was in a little bistro in Paris off the Place d’Etoile. (Enough showing off.)

The absolute best creme brulee is made by my friend, Betty, who has the little white ramekins and the long-handled iron that she heats up on the stove in order to brulee each creme individually.  She does not make these often enough.

There are a lot of different stories about the origin of this dish.  Here is one of them.

And here is a recipe from Alton Brown:


  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 quarts hot water


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.


  1. That is great. I didn’t know there was a national holiday for that desert but considering that it is awesome I guess it is worth celebrating 😉

    • I agree – awesome!

  2. Thanks for sharing…so glad to have another excuse to make creme brulee!

    • Enjoy!

  3. omg! This looks lovely! May I have a slice of that bake, pls? =D

    • Sure, I’ll save you some!

  4. YUmmm!

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