This recipe takes a slight change from the classic fare and infuses it with tea. To assist the sweetness of the dish, try using a bold, black tea like Irish Breakfast, though feel free to experiment with your own favorite. We also used vanilla extract for its ease of availability, but if you can find it, using a full vanilla bean will provide the richest flavor. If you want to make basic creme brulee instead of the tea infused version, remove the tea bags from the recipe and add an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Another note: this recipe calls for you to put a dish towel in the bottom of a baking dish and place the individual ramekins on top before partially filling the baking dish with water. This is to make sure there is water underneath the brulees as they bake, and to ensure an even distribution of temperature. Now on to the recipe!
Tea Infused Creme Brulee
(makes 6 servings)
- 4 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 10 bags Irish Breakfast tea, strings tied together
- 12 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8-12 teaspoons turbinado sugar.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine 2 cups cream with the sugar and salt in a medium saucepan, and add the tea bags. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar dissolves.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and let steep for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place a kitchen towel in the bottom of a large baking dish. Bring a kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat.
- After the cream has finished steeping, remove the tea bags and squeeze them with tongs or press into a mesh strainer to extract all the liquid.
- Stir together the tea liquid and the remaining 2 cups cream with the steeped cream to cool down the mixture.
- Whisk in the yolks and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
- Whisk 1 cup of the cream mixture into the yolks until loosened and combined.
- Repeat with the remaining cream, whisking 1 cup at a time until all is combined.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large measuring cup or pitcher. Discard the solids in the strainer.
- Pour or ladle the mixture into individual ramekins, dividing it evenly among them.
- Place the ramekins in the baking dish, then carefully place the baking dish into the oven.
- Pour the boiling water into the baking dish in the oven, being careful to not splash water into the ramekins until water reaches two-thirds the height of the ramekins.
- Bake until the centers of the custard are just barely set and an instant-read thermometer registers 170 to 175 degrees at the center (This should take about 30-35 minutes).
- Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature (about 2 hours).
- Set the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold (at least 4 hours).
- Uncover the ramekins, then sprinkle each evenly with about 1 teaspoon of turbinado sugar.
- Ignite a kitchen torch and caramelize the sugar. Refrigerate ramekins uncovered to re-chill about 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from the Food Network