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Creme Brulee

by James Morton

This recipe doesn’t necessarily involve any baking, but you can if you like. I choose to make my Crème Brulee on the stovetop, for I find it infinitely more reliable (and it’s far quicker).

Prep time

30 minutes

Cook time

20 minutes






Step 1

First, look out your glasses or ramekins and, if you like, plop a few berries (or a spoon of jam) in the bottom of each as a wee surprise

Step 2

Into a pan, measure your cream. Place this on a medium heat. Whilst that heats up, whisk together your yolks, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl.

Step 3

When your cream is steaming, remove from the heat and add half of your cream to your eggy mix and quickly whisk together. Add this back to your pan, so that everything is now in the same pan.

Step 4

Place this back on the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it just starts to thicken. As soon as it does, remove and stir violently to stop any lumps forming. Pour into your glasses and then leave to cool. Leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before placing in the fridge to set. This will take at least an hour.

Step 5

When ready to serve, scatter a teaspoon of caster sugar over each of your custards and blowtorch until a deep dark caramel. Alternatively, bring the blowtorch to your table and let everyone do their own!


Top Tips:

  • It’s really not a very difficult dessert to make, and it can be done up to 2 days in advance, with only the fun blowtorch bit to save for the end.
  • You don’t need any of those silly ramekins to make it – I just use a few wee recycled tumblers I’ve got kicking around. One thing that’s fairly necessary for the traditional crème brulee is the blowtorch – I don’t think this is asking too much, for they’re very cheap and widely available now. And you’ll be using it a lot once you’ve seen how easy this recipe is.
  • Some say that you can use a grill if you don’t have one, but I’ve tried this and it just doesn’t work. The heat just isn’t direct enough to cause the sugar to melt without ruining your custard. If you really don’t want one, you can make a caramel using 100g caster sugar and a tablespoon of water. Mix these together over a medium heat in a pan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring, then simmer until deep, golden brown. Pour this on top of your prepared custards just before serving.
  • For an extra surprise, I like to incorporate a little fruit into my crème brulee. This can in the form of a few fresh berries for the bottom of the glass as I have done here, or even just some jam. It just adds that extra something.




  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 400ml Graham’s double cream
  • 80g caster sugar, plus more for the top
  • 1 tsp high quality vanilla paste, or a vanilla pod (or 2 tsp extract)
  • A punnet of fresh berries (optional)