Gingered Crème Brûlée
Translated literally, this means “burnt cream.” Sugar is caramelized on top of this creamy dessert to make a brittle topping that contrasts with the smooth, rich custard.
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How to make
Heat oven to 250°F.
Pour half & half, whipping cream and ginger into heavy 2-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat 30 minutes. Remove ginger.
Beat 1/2 cup sugar and eggs in bowl until sugar dissolves and mixture is slightly thickened. Slowly add whipping cream mixture, mixing well after each addition.
Place 8 (4-ounce) ungreased ramekins or custard cups into baking pan. Divide mixture evenly among ramekins. Place baking pan on oven rack; pour boiling water into baking pan to 1/2-inch depth. Bake 1-1 1/2 hours or until custards are just set around edges. Remove from water; cool to room temperature. Cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight until thoroughly chilled.
Heat broiler. Just before serving, sprinkle top of each custard evenly with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Place ramekins on baking pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat 1-2 minutes or until sugar caramelizes. Serve immediately.
Baking time varies with the type of custard cups used and with the heat of the water bath. With metal, thin porcelain and glass dishes, cooking time is less. Heavy pottery dishes take more time to conduct heat. Custard cups that are deep with less surface area take more time than cups that are shallow with more surface.
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