The Best Creme Brulee

I’ve made this recipe several times now and it truly is the best recipe.

six 4-ounce servings

  • 1 full vanilla bean (I like Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans) (Alternatively use 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks, must be at room temperature*
  • 3/4 cup superfine white sugar, separated (regular white sugar will work too)
  • 6 cups water
  • Optional: fresh berries to serve with

Start by splitting the vanilla bean down the center. Scrape out all the seeds and place into a large bowl. Take the vanilla bean pod and place in a small pot with the sea salt and heavy cream. If using vanilla extract, don’t add quite yet to the sea salt and heavy cream.

Heat the heavy cream mixture over the stove until the cream is simmering. Do not boil! Remove from the stove and set aside to slightly cool. Remove the vanilla bean pod. If using vanilla extract, stir it in to this mixture now.

In the bowl with the vanilla bean seeds (or an empty bowl if using vanilla extract), add the egg yolks and 1/2 cup superfine sugar. Beat until the mixture is light, about 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, place 6 cups of water in a large pot and heat to boiling.

Add about 1/4th of the cream mixture into the egg + sugar mixture. Stir until combined, then pour the remaining heavy cream mixture into the egg + sugar mixture. Stir until combined.

Pour the prepared mixture evenly into the ramekins – use either (6) 4-ounce ramekins, (5) 5-ounce ramekins, or (4) 6-ounce ramekins. Place the ramekins in a metal 9 x 13 baking pan and add boiling water to the pan until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 30-35 minutes at 325 F until the centers are barely set (very slight jiggle). Cool completely at room temperature and then refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving. (These can be refrigerated for 4-5 days before using)

When ready to serve, add the remaining 1/4 cup superfine sugar on top of the custards in equal portions. I find it helpful to use a little more sugar than needed to swirl around on top of the custard to make sure the top is evenly coated with sugar – then just pour the extra sugar onto the next ramekin. Use a kitchen torch to torch the tops until the sugar melts and browns (or even slightly blackens). Top with fresh berries and enjoy immediately 🙂


Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

We had our first Fresh Fork Market CSA bag of goodness this Friday. There was a nice bunch of rhubarb in it and we had three containers of strawberries in the fridge so I googled rhubarb and strawberries and Ina Garten’s strawberry rhubarb crisp was first on the list… so that’s what I made.  It was very good I must say.

I love the colors of rhubarb
…add some strawberries…
…and whip up some crisp – it’s an Ina Garten recipe so lots of butter…
…and eat it outside in front of the fire on a perfect early summer Friday night.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Ina Garten – Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?

  • 4 cups fresh rhubarb, 1-inch diced (4 to 5 stalks)
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved, if large
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal, such as McCann’s
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the fruit, toss the rhubarb, strawberries, 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar and the orange zest together in a large bowl. In a measuring cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the orange juice and then mix it into the fruit. Pour the mixture into an 8-by-11-inch baking dish and place it on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

For the topping, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, salt and oatmeal. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter and mix until the dry ingredients are moist and the mixture is in crumbles. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, covering it completely, and bake for 1 hour, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

Fresh Fruit Tart


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 6 T. butter
  • 1 egg yolk

Mix ingredients together.  Chill.  Roll on waxed paper and fit into tart or pie tin.  Prick all over and bake for 15 minutes in a 375 preheated oven.


  • 3 oz. Cream cheese
  • sour cream

Mix cream cheese and enough sour cream to get a spreadable consistency.  Spread this on top of cooled shell


  • 3 peaches
  • ½ pint raspberries
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¾ cup sugar


  • 1 quart strawberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • ½ cup water

Combine ingredients in pan and boil for 1 minute.  Look for color to change from opaque to clear.  Topping will thicken at boiling point.  Add more water if too thick.

Spread topping on top of tart and refrigerate

Strawberry Pretzel Jello

Betty Davis

Grandma Davis loved her jello recipes.

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1 T. sugar
  • ¾ cup melted margarine
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • small carton cool whip
  • 1 large strawberry Jell-O
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 10oz pkgs. Frozen strawberries

Mix pretzels, 1 T. sugar, and melted margarine together.  Place in 9 x 13 pan.  Bake 8 minutes at 400.  Cool completely.

Beat cream cheese with 1 cup sugar ands stir in cool whip.  Spread over crust and refrigerate.

Put Jell-O in a bowl, add 2 cups boiling water, stir.  Add frozen strawberries.  Pour over cheese layer.  Refrigerate.