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Honey & Rosemary Creme Brulee

title

A Salute to Honey, Part II
My first attempt at creme brulee came from a trip to Bath and Body Works in Pioneer Place. Right. See, they carry products from the Savannah Bee Company and I found some orange foot scrub that I liked. I went to their Web site to learn more about the company and found a recipe section.

From there, I discovered a lavender and honey creme brulee recipe that I changed to Rosemary and Honey. This was mainly due to having a HUGE rosemary plant in the front yard that I like to find uses for and because, well, I like rosemary. Especially sneaky uses for it like drinks and desserts.

The flavor was mild and a little sweet. You could taste the rosemary just a little and it blended very well with the honey. I used vanilla sugar in my creme brulee (for the top too) but plain sugar will work fine.

Honey and Rosemary Creme Brulee
(This will make 4 creme brulees. For 2, just halve the ingredients — that’s what I did).
7 egg yolks
2 oz. sugar
2 oz. honey
2 cups half and half (or, for a richer, devil may care version, 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk — I did the half and half and thought it was good. Heavy cream would probably even be that much more so.)
3-4 sprigs rosemary
3-t tbsp vanilla sugar (or plain sugar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

rosemary

Put cream and milk into a saucepan with the rosemary sprigs. Bring to a boil and turn off. Let stems steep for about 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks, sugar and honey until smooth. Pull sprigs out of the cream and milk mixture and whisk into eggs. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

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Pour into four one cup ramekins or brulee dishes. Use a spoon to skim off any foam from the top of the dishes. Set into a baking pan, add enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides. Place in oven and bake 25 – 30 minutes or until they are set. Test by jiggling the dish. You can also test it with a thermometer. A custard is set at 165 degrees — thank you, Alton Brown!

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Cool in the water bath. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

The Brulee-ing

Before serving, sprinkle tops with a thin layer of granulated sugar and caramelize with a small torch or under a high temperature broiler. If you use a broiler (like I did) you may want to take out a little protection for your creme brulee container. I used ceramic ramekins and I was 90% sure that they were broiler-proof. Just in case, I cut out little aluminum foil protectors for the tops.

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My broiling took maybe 60-90 seconds. I took them out of the oven and let them sit for about five minutes before eating. The real test? The crack. I saw Alton Brown do this on the Creme Brulee (or was it custard?) Good Eats. Crack your spoon down on the top. You should hear the sugar crack. I was so excited — ours cracked!

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So, I guess the lesson is, if you don’t have a little torch, you can still make creme brulee. Just use the broiler and it should work fine! Also, shopping can help you find interesting recipes.

Vanilla Sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
1 split vanilla bean, scraped clean

This is a great use for used vanilla beans. After using a bean for something else, take the scraped pod halves and through in a zip lock bag with a couple of cups of sugar. Keep sealed air tight in a dark place (like your cabinet). Use in place of plain sugar whenever it strikes your fancy.

9 comments to Honey & Rosemary Creme Brulee

  • Wow!! you have got an amazing collection of recipes that I wd love to give a try….I just stumbled upon u’r blog searching for some good cake recipes and here I am in the middle of a wonderful collection from around the world….

  • This has got to be my most favotite dessert in the world.There are so many variations…..this is one more I need to try! Happy Cooking!

  • mlb

    Shynee: Thank you so much!

    Jann: Yep, creme brulee is one of my favorites as well!

  • I’m with Jann. Creme Brulee is my favorite dessert, hands down. This one looks fabulous!

  • Creme brulee is a favorite – always! This version sounds awesome. I’ve never strayed from the original when making it myself, but this honey rosemary version seems really interesting. Thanks for the recipe!

  • LOVE this idea – I have some rosemary sitting in my fridge, and I was looking for a slightly more original version of CB than lemon or fruit.

    You are brilliant! Thx!

  • Karen

    Hi,
    Loved this recipe.
    Have been making all sorts of interesting brulee’s and panna cottas recently.
    We’re on a bit of a Middle Eastern jag just now, so my latest was a brulee made with almond milk, including a few strands of toasted saffron and a little rose water.

    RE: the Vanilla sugar. It takes longer (months) but if you follow the above advice with any good large-crystal sugar (I like Taikoo) you wind up with something amazing to sprinkle on berries. The larger sugar crystals hold their form, so you get a vanilla crunch in each mouthful. I keep this on hand all year long.

    A question: Has anyone figured out how to use HONEY for the brulee topping?

    kc

  • Can you make the custard without using any sugar at all… that is with just honey.

  • mlb

    Liana: Hmmmm, I have no idea! :)
    You could always experiment w/ a 1/2 recipe and give it a try…maybe just double the honey? Let me know if you try it and if it works!