As with many great recipes there are many stories about who created it, where and when Crème Brulee was first introduced. Some culinary historians believe it was created in the Middle Ages others say it was first during the Renaissance. Others claim it is was based on the Spainish dessert Crema Catalana served to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain
However, as best we can determine in reading its history the modern recipe for Crème Brulee was first served by French Chef Alain Sailhac in 1982. Sailhac was Executive Chef for New York’s Le Cirque, one of the premiere French restaurants in the world. Chef Sailhac created Crème Brulee as a lighter version of the thickly crusted Crème Catalana. It is said that once you’ve had a Crème Brulee there is no other dessert to order. Chef Bill Conway made a fabulous Creme Brulee with the lavender from the Red Pheasant’s garden. Alas, the Red Pheasant is gone but here is a another recipe for you to make your own Crème Brulee.
serves 8 - 12
1 qt heavy cream
2 c. milk
pinch of salt
1/2 c. sugar
12 egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 c. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the top of a double boiler,combine cream, milk, sugar and salt. Heat over boiling water until sugar is dissolved. Pour cream mixture into beaten egg yolks, mix well, and add vanilla. Pour into 9 by 12 inch baking dish. Bake in a large pan containing water to a depth of 1 inch for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and chill. Several hours before serving, cover top of custard with sifted brown sugar, until sugar glaze is about 1/4 inch thick all over. Place under broiler, watching carefully, until sugar is melted, being sure not to burn. Chill once more before serving.
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