creme brulee at 9000 feet

I’ve been wanting to try this creme brulee recipe of Nigella Lawson‘s for over a year, but every time I think of making it I’m lacking an important ingredient.  Like heavy cream.  Or eggs.  But last night I got the hankering again and just happened to have all the ingredients!

So…I started in…but when I got to minute 12 of the ‘whisk over low heat for 10-12 minutes’ step, I realized that this recipe might require some high altitude adjustment.  I ended up whisking over low heat for 21 minutes before the custard was thickened.  I got a little bored in those 21 minutes, but it was all worth it when I got to use my blowtorch at the end!  Although we had a difficult time getting the blowtorch lit (probably due to high altitude as well) it eventually worked and produced a beautiful caramelized top crust.

Creme Brulee:

2 1/2 c. heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 egg yolks

3 T. granulated sugar

6 T. raw brown sugar (I just used white)

Freeze a 9″ pie plate for 20 minutes.  Put cream and vanilla in saucepan and bring to boiling point, but DO NOT BOIL!  Beat eggs and 3 T. sugar in a medium bowl, and still beating, pour cream mixture over it.  Rinse and dry saucepan and pour custard mixture back in.  Cook over low heat until custard thickens, whisking constantly; about 10-12 minutes should suffice (or 21 minutes at 9000 feet).  When custard is thick enough, pour into chilled pie plate.  Leave to cool, then refrigerate until cold.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and burn with blowtorch in circular motions.  (Or place under the broiler on high for a minute or two.)

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-Abby

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