Culinary Torch and Créme Brulee

One evening just 30 years ago, Americans sat down to watch their favorite chef Julia Child making Crème Brulee at home for the very first time. Julia had no problem with making and chilling the custard, her challenge was running a 30 foot hose from the propane tank in her garage to the kitchen counter to caramelize this professional delicacy!

Thankfully, we now have the Culinary torch, a specialty item that will consistently give you exceptional results.  A few helpful hints when shopping for one of these  gadgets,  it should be as safe as it is convenient, have a professional metal body with an adjustable temperature and anti flare system.  As for procedure, always torch the sugar on cold custards taken directly from the fridge.  Sprinkle the sugar as evenly as possible.  The caramelizing should be gradual by making quick small spiraling circles with the flame.  The finished result should be light amber to medium dark in color.

As always I’ve included my variation of this awesome dessert, the contrast between the cool creamy custard and the crisp warm caramelized sugar is classically superb! Bon Appetit Everyone!


Yields 4 Servings


  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1   Oz. white chocolate
  • ½ Tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2  Oz. canned pumpkin
  • Pinch of nutmeg & cinnamon

Heat cream, 1 tablespoon of sugar, pumpkin and white chocolate slowly until it boils.  Add vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon and remove from heat.  Add remaining sugar to egg yolks and whip until it becomes very pale.  Temper yolk with cream, hot to cold a little at a time stirring constantly, then strain.  Fill ramekins ¾ full and place in water bath baking at 300 degree oven 20-30 minutes.  Cool in refrigerator and finish with caramelizing process as described above.