Ah, Crème Brûlée. The French dessert that is a rich, smooth, yolk-and-cream-based vanilla custard and then finished off with a beautiful crispy, crystalized, caramelized sugary crust.
It’s so beautiful it’s almost sad you need to break into it that skating rink of sugar that shimmers like the Eiffel Tower at night. (Is your mouth watering yet?)
This indulgence is without a doubt one of the most luxurious around but it’s also one of the easiest to make right in your Instant Pot!. Only a few easily accessible ingredients is all it takes to achieve dessert nirvana and you’re going to impress the daylights out of whoever you serve it to.
Here’s How I Made It!:
Begin with a 4-cup pyrex that has a pour spout (this will make everything so much easier).
Then, add in some heavy cream…
…(and some Egg Nog if you wish!).
Take the cream…
…and briefly pop it in the microwave to give the cream just a little bit of warmth since we don’t want it super cold (another reason the 4-cup pyrex is so handy).
Then, take some eggs…
…crack them into a super convenient yolk separator (seriously – this makes things SO much easier)…
…with a cup beneath to catch the egg whites (which we won’t be using. You can save the egg whites for an omelette or anything else later by securing with a lid and popping in the fridge).
Then add each egg yolk to the cream.
Now add in some sugar…
…and vanilla extract.
…and whisk until combined.
Then, take some ramekins (these are the best)…
…and pour the mixture into each ramekin…
…until each are filed with just a little room to spare below the brim.
Cover each ramekin with foil.
Then, go to the Instant Pot and add in the trivet with some water…
Rest the ramekins with two on the bottom…
…and then two resting on top of the bottom two in a criss-cross fashion. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, allow the ramekins to cool for minutes before removing from the pot.
Remove the foil and you’ll see the Creme Brulee is a bit jiggly like Jell-O. This is exactly as it should be.
Pop each ramekin into the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
When done, it will be have firmed up like a thick, rich pudding!
Now comes the fun part – turning this into a true Creme Brulee with the caramelized sugar crust! We can do this in two different styles. With raw or white, granulated sugar. Let’s try it with raw first.
Make sure the entire top of the custard is covered with the sugar.
Then, get a culinary torch (this one is amazing)…
…and torch the sugar until it becomes caramelized. Do it to your eye’s delight in terms of the desired hue. Think of it like painting with fire!
This is exactly how I like mine. On the darker side, but not TOO dark. It looks perfect to me – a lovely, coarse finish!
Now let’s try it with our white, granulated sugar.
Evenly sprinkle it on until the entire top is coated…
…give it some fire with the culinary torch to caramelize the sugar…
…until it looks like this. Absolutely perfect!
So you have your smoother surface with the granulated sugar on the left and the coarser surface with the raw sugar on the right! BOTH are going to be superb – it’s just a matter of preference!
When ready to serve, crack into that crisped surface with a spoon…
…and delve below to get to the custard!
Try it out.
Your face should look like this as soon as it enters your mouth-cave.
Now let a loving family member try it…
…and that says it all, folks!
Enjoy this magnificent, luxury dessert with practically no effort whatsoever!
The Creme Brulee Custard (for four 8 oz ramekins):
- 6 egg yolks only, whites removed using a yolk separator
- 2 cups of heavy cream (sub 1/2 cup of Egg Nog for 1/2 cup of the cream for a holiday/festive specialty)
- 6 tbsp of sugar
- 1/8 tsp of nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp of cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp of vanilla extract
The Caramelized Sugar Crust:
- 2 tsp of granulated white sugar OR raw sugar per ramekin, evenly distributed over the top of the cooled and firmed custard to be torched until caramelized and crystalized. (NOTE: The granulated sugar will provide a smoother crust like the surface of an ice rink and the raw sugar will be coarser like a bumpy road!)
- Pour the cream into a 4-cup Pyrex and place in the microwave for 45 seconds. We do this because we don’t want the cream to be too chilled but not hot either
- Whisk all the Creme Brulee Custard ingredients into the warmed cream
- Pour mixture into four 8 oz ceramic ramekins and cover with foil
- Go to the Instant Pot and place the trivet followed by 2 cups of water in it
- Rest the ramekins on top of the trivet in a criss-cross fashion with two on the bottom going in the opposite direction of the two resting on top (see step-by-step photos above)
- Hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” for 15 mins at high pressure. When done, allow a 15 minute natural release followed by a quick release. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes in the pot once the lid is removed
- Remove the foil. It will appear a little jiggly like Jell-O which is how it should appear at this stage. Place each ramekin in the fridge for 4 hours minimum (overnight is even better) until fully chilled and firmed-up like a pudding
- When ready to serve, top with either raw or granulated, white sugar and use culinary torch to caramelize the top. Do this at your own pace until it crystalizes into the hue of your liking. Think of it as (carefully) painting with a flame and be sure to not let your fingers get in the way
- Serve immediately