This is definitely the best and easiest way to do a creme brulee. An hour at 176F should give you a very silky custard. You may go for a little more poaching time if you want a firmer texture.
Be sure and check out my post about the best immersion circulators if you want to get started with sous vide in your own home, or upgrade your current device. They are relatively inexpensive these days compared to just a few years ago!
Heat the cream for about 5 minutes to infuse the saffron into it. Otherwise, if you’re going for plain cream, or any other liquid-based flavoring component, you may skip this heating step and proceed to mixing in the cream to the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
Be careful not to bring the cream to a boil. Too much heat may cause cream to split.
This recipe for creme brulee is pretty much basic. Go add your personal touch into it by working in your choice of aromatics and flavors into the cream. Some suggestions: lavender, vanilla, citrus zest, liquor, cardamom pods, ginger. . . . any flavor you could think of actually.
Let the heated cream mixture cool a bit – about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until the sugar is fully incorporated.
Gradually temper the cream into the egg yolks, going in about a cup at a time. Pouring in the entire pot of hot cream too rapidly would curdle the egg yolks.
Strain the mixture. Doing so would make your custard end up smoother.
Get a few fresh blueberries into your canning bottles. Here’s where you can change things again to your fancy. Go with other fruits, nuts, chocolate chips. . . or leave it plain. Plain creme brulee is excellent on its own anyway.
Pour the custard mix into the bottles all the way to the top. We’ll be torching some sugar on the tops later which you’ll find nearly impossible to do if you keep the custard level in the bottles too low.
Leave the filled bottles for about 30 minutes to an hour to allow all those bubbles to rise up and for the custard to settle. Doing so will give your creme brulee that smooth texture.
Get the lids on being careful not to seal them too tight – “finger-tight” would be perfect. The glass bottles will expand a bit when heated, so screwing on the lids too tight may cause the bottles to break in the pot. Then, carefully lower the bottles into the water bath.
You may stack the bottles inside the pot if you’re working on a bigger batch of this recipe. They should still come out evenly “cooked”.
After an hour, get the bottles out of the pot and leave them to cool for about an hour on your kitchen counter. Then get them in the refrigerator to chill for around 2-3 hours.
Dust some granulated sugar on the tops of your custard and begin torching. Keep the torch about a foot away and rotate the bottles as you go. This will ensure even caramelization of the sugar and keep it from burning.
Here’s the best part – cracking into that brittle layer of sugar to get into the silky rich custard.
Aside from the very subtle earthiness, notice how the saffron gave our custard a bright yellow tint.