This delicious egg custard or creme brulee is a rich indulgent dessert that can be prepared well in advance.You can buy vanilla sugar or make your own by placing a split vanilla pod(bean)in a jar of caser(superfine)sugar – the sugar will be ready to use after a couple of days.

Baked Custard with Burnt Sugar



1 litre/1 3/4 pints/4 cups double(heavy)crean
6 egg yolks
90g/3 1/3 oz/1/2 cup vanilla sugar
75g/3 oz/1/3 cup soft light brown sugar


1.Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas2.Place six 120ml/4fl oz/ 1/2 cup ramekins in a roasting pan or ovenproof dish and set aside while you prepare the vanilla custard.

2.Heat the double cream in a heavy pan over a gentle heat until it in very hot,but not boiling.

3.In a bowl,whisk the egg yolks and vanilla sugar until wellblended.Whisk in the hot cream and strain into a large jug(pitcher).Divide the custard equally among the ramekins.

4.Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 30 minutes,until the custards are just set.(Push the point of a knife into the centre or one;if it comes out clean,the custards are cooked.)Remove from the pan,cool,then chill.

5.Preheat the grill(brioler).Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the surface of the custards and grill(broil)for 30-60 seconds,until the sugar melts and caramelizes,taking care not to let it burn.Place in the refrigerator to chill and set the crust.

cook’s tip :

It is best to make the custards the day before you wish to eat them and chill overnight,so that they are really cold and firm.