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A straightforward and unpretentious creation that is so simple, so rich, so praised with a twist. Watch the video to learn the basic technique for making creme brulee. If you like to make traditional creme brulee, omit the grated lemon. | Video

3 cups whipping cream
5 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon turbinado sugar such as Sugar in the Raw brand

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange eight 3/4-cup custard cups or ramekins in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan.

2. Combine cream and lemon peel in heavy small saucepan and bring to simmer. Whisk sugar and yolks in large bowl until thick, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture, then vanilla and salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain custard, then divide among cups.

3. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake custards until just set in center, about 55 minutes. Remove custards from water bath; chill uncovered until firm, at least 3 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

4. Set broiler rack so that custard tops will be 1-1/2 to 2 inches from heat and change oven setting to broil. Alternatively, have ready a blowtorch. Sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over the creme brulee and heat under broiler until sugar is melted and caramelized.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008

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