Creme Brulee for Two

What a treat. Creamy. Crunchy. So delicious.

Total Time
6 hour 40 minutes
Simple Tasty Recipes


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300ºF.

  2. Combine 1/2 cup cream, sugar, and salt in small saucepan; bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Meanwhile, place a kitchen towel on the bottom of a baking dish and arrange two 4 to 5-ounce ramekins (or shallow fluted dishes) on a towel, make sure they are level and not tilted. Bring a kettle or saucepan of water to boil over high heat (that will be for the water bath).

  4. After the sugar has melted and the cream has slightly cooled, stir in remaining 1/2 cup cream to cool down mixture further. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until broken up and combined. Whisk in vanilla extract and about 1/4 cup cream mixture into yolks until loosened and combined; repeat with another 1/4 cup cream. Add remaining cream and whisk until evenly colored and thoroughly combined. If you have lumps in your custard, strain mixture into a new bowl. Pour the mixture into ramekins, dividing evenly.

  5. Carefully place the baking dish with ramekins on oven rack; pour the boiling water into the dish, do not to splash water into ramekins, until the water reaches half to two-thirds height of ramekins. Bake until the centers of custards are just barely set and are no longer liquidy and a digital instant-read thermometer inserted in centers registers 170 to 175ºF, 20-30 minutes. Check temperature about 15 minutes in.

  6. Transfer the ramekins to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. (Pro Tip: Wrap rubber bans around your tongs to remove the ramekins without slipping) Set ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.

  7. Uncover ramekins; if condensation has collected on custards, place a paper towel on the surface to soak up moisture. Sprinkle each with about 2 teaspoons granulated sugar; tilt and tap ramekin for even coverage. Next, use a torch to caramelize the sugar. Refrigerate ramekins, uncovered, to re-chill, 30 to 45 minutes (but no longer); serve. (Pro Tip: If you don't have a torch, you can broil in the oven for a few minutes or use a very HOT spoon to caramelize the sugar.)

Ingredients for 2 4-5 oz. ramekins

  • Custard:
  • 1 cup
    heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons
    granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon
    table salt
  • 3
    egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon
    vanilla extract (vanilla bean works if you have!)
  • Top:
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon
    granulated sugar (amount will vary)
  • Optional
    Mint, fruits and berries (for garnish)

Total Time

  • Preparation Time
    2 hours 15 minutes + 4 hours cooling
  • Cooking Time
    25 minutes

Suggested Equipment



Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks after the cream has finished steeping; if left to sit, the surface of the yolks will dry and form a film. The best way to judge if the custards are done is with a digital instant-read thermometer, it will be a lot more accurate. For the caramelized sugar crust, I have seen turbinado or Demerara sugar recommend but I used granulated sugar and it worked beautifully. The amount of sugar needed for the topping will vary on the shape of the ramekin. Sprinkle about 1/2 tablespoon over the top and gently tilt the ramekin. The sugar need will stick to the top, you can pour off excess sugar. Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen.

Additional Images