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Birthday Party Crème Brûlée

A dear friend, who’s like family to us, recently celebrated a birthday. I offered to bring dessert. “Crème Brûlée?”, I ask. What person in their right mind would turn that down?! “Lemon or chocolate?” I ask. The answer was “both”!

Crème Brûlée has always been one of those desserts that seems so fancy, difficult and, well, down right scary to make. Nah! It’s really quite simple. Unless, of course, your husband is documenting the process with his camera, lights, lens changes, etc. In spite of the extra stress and commotion, it still came out a success! Following is the recipe for the lemon. Watch for the chocolate to follow!

Lemon Crème Brûlée with Fresh Berries

  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 5 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 teaspoons white table sugar
  • 2 1/2-pint containers fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup Chambord (black-raspberry liqueur) or crème de cassis (black-currant liqueur)

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Zest a lemon.


Arrange eight 3/4-cup custard cups or ramekins in 13x9x2-inch metal (I use glass Pyrex, not sure if that’s a problem but hasn’t been so far, cross your fingers) baking pan.


Combine cream and lemon peel in heavy small saucepan and bring to simmer.


Whisk sugar and yolks in large bowl until thick, about 3 minutes. I use my handy dandy Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment turned to speed 2-4 and mix about 2 minutes until thick and creamy.

Turn the mixer down to low, or speed 2, and gradually whisk in hot cream mixture, then vanilla and salt.
Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Evenly distribute the mixture between each ramekin.

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Bake custards until just set in center, about 55 minutes. Remove custards from water bath; chill uncovered until firm, at least 3 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Combine raspberries and liqueur in bowl. Let stand at room temperature at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.


Evenly spread a teaspoon of sugar on each crème brûlée.


Using a torch, move evenly over the entire surface and edges until it begins to bubble and turn golden brown.


Spoon berry mixture atop custards and serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.



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Just a girl who loves to cook, eat, travel, drink delicious wine and craft cocktails.


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