Pineapple Sage Stove Top Crème Brûlée

Did you know that the name crème brûlée means burnt cream?

A french chef coined the term in the sixteen hundreds. The dessert has since lived on to delight taste buds and sweet cravings all around the world.

If you have never made crème brûlée before, you probably think that it is a very difficult dessert to nail. But, just like tiramisu – this is not the case! Yes, it may take a couple tries to perfect the process, but the steps to making a crème brûlée are very simple. So are the ingredients.

All you need is milk, cream, eggs, sugar and flavoring (usually vanilla). Many recipes call for vanilla pods. But to make things easy for you, in this recipe we are going to be using vanilla essence. If you have vanilla bean pods feel free to substitute.

Traditionally crème brûlée is made by whipping up a custard like cream mixture on the stove top, and then baking this in ramekins in the oven. If you do not have an oven thermometer, you can easily overbake the crème brûlée custard cream. Also, baking the crème brûlée in the oven takes roughly 30-40 minutes.

So, to make things even easier for you we have gone stove top with this crème brûlée recipe!

The benefits are, less chances of over-cooking the crème brûlée custard, and reduced cooking time. If you are in a rush, don’t want to mess up a batch of crème brûlée, want an easy recipe or don’t have an oven – then this is the recipe for you.

The disadvantages of making crème brûlée on the stove top is that the consistency of the custard will not be the same as with oven cooking. Will the custard be creamy, smooth and decadent? Absolutely. But you won’t be able to get that jelly-like wobble than can be achieved in the oven. Therefore if you aim for nothing but classic perfection in your crème brûlées, go the oven route.

Otherwise, use this hack to make fast and easy crème brûlée using your stove top.

Before we jump into the recipe let’s walk through a couple of things.

Firstly, the flavoring.

In this recipe we are using pineapple sage for a unique flavor twist. If you have never tasted pineapple sage before, picture pineapple, mixed with hints of sage. That is literally what it tastes like! Which makes it a perfect ingredient to use in desserts.

Unfortunately, even though pineapple sage is an amazing herb to use in cooking, you can’t buy it in the grocery store. You either have to grow it yourself, or bum a couple sprigs from a friend who has some growing.

I am hoping that seeing as you are here on this recipe, that you already have some pineapple sage at your disposal.

But if not, don’t stress. You can either substitute in another flavor, or you can leave it out completely, and simply make the classic crème brûlée, stove top style.

However if you do have some pineapple sage, or know where you can get your hands on some, then definitely use it. The play of the pineapple notes and sage hints brightens up the crème brûlée gorgeously! It is a subtle flavor, but beautiful.

If you want to mimic the interesting element of the pineapple sage, but don’t have any, then you can also try this. Substitute the pineapple sage for regular sage and lemon zest. You will achieve a similar play between the savory sage and the fruity lemon flavor.

Lastly, be aware that you can make this dessert the day before serving it. Crème brûlée needs to chill for at least 40 minutes before you create the caramelized sugar top. This means that you can make the crème brûlée custard the day before. Simply stick the ramekins in the fridge, and then take them out and do the caramelized tops shortly before serving.

This makes crème brûlée a great dessert recipe for occasions that you want to prep ahead for.

Let’s jump into the recipe.

Pineapple Sage Stove Top Crème Brûlée

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 390 ml cream
  • 100 ml milk
  • 2-3 sprigs pineapple sage
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 50 grams brown sugar + extra for the caramelized tops
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. The first thing to do is assemble all of the ingredients together. If you have not separated the eggs yet, do this now.
  2. Now pour the cream and the milk into a medium sized pot. Place on the stove and add the pineapple sage sprigs and vanilla essence. Turn on the heat and bring the pot to a simmer. As soon as the milk and cream reach simmering point, turn off the heat. Do not let the mixture boil, as this will make the cream and milk taste funny.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the sugar, egg yolks and cornstarch. With a spoon gently mix the sugar and egg yolks together until the sugar has dissolved. Do not beat the sugar and the egg yolks. The reason why is because unlike light and fluffy things like cakes, you should not incorporate air bubbles into the sugar and eggs. This is because you want to achieve a smooth, dense and uniform texture in the final crème brûlée cream.
  4. Once the sugar is dissolved into the egg yolks, the pot of milk and cream should have cooled slightly. You are now ready to combine the cream and milk with the egg yolks and sugar. First, place a large sieve over your bowl of sugar and egg yolks. Then take the pot containing the cream and milk, and pour about a cup full through the sieve and into the bowl. Remove the sieve briefly and mix this in. Repeat this until all of the milk and cream from the pot is in the bowl. Discard the pineapple sage.
  5. Now pour the contents of the bowl back into the pot. Replace the pot onto the stove and set the heat to low. Stirring the pot, continue to heat the mixture for 8-10 minutes. Don’t stop stirring! You will begin to see the mix thickening up after a while. Once it looks nice and thick and creamy, turn off the heat. If you overcook the mixture, the egg will start to solidify and it will become grainy. So keep an eagle eye on the texture and if you see this beginning to happen, immediately remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Once your crème brûlée cream is nice and thick after 8 minutes or so, it is time to get it into ramekins. Simply spoon the mixture into four ramekins, smoothing out the tops if need be. Then place the ramekins in the refrigerator for 1-24 hours.
  7. When you are preparing to serve the crème brûlée, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator. Now it is time to create that caramelized sugar top. Firstly, spoon a thin layer of sugar over each ramekin. To melt the sugar you can either use a blow torch, or place them under the broiler. A blow torch is the easier method as you have more control. But if you torch them, please be careful and do so on a non-flammable surface that is free of paper or anything else that could catch alight. If you choose to use the broiler, try to get the ramekins as close to the flame as possible. Keep a close eye on them and shift any that are browning unevenly. Once your ramekins all have developed a nicely caramelized top, it is time to serve.
  8. Serve the crème brûlée immediately. Do not re-refrigerate before serving as this will soften the caramelized tops.

STEP ONE – ASSEMBLE YOUR INGREDIENTS

The first thing to do is assemble all of the ingredients together. If you have not separated the eggs yet, do this now.

STEP TWO – HEAT THE CREAM, MILK AND PINEAPPLE SAGE

Now pour the cream and the milk into a medium sized pot. Place on the stove and add the pineapple sage sprigs and vanilla essence. Turn on the heat and bring the pot to a simmer. As soon as the milk and cream reach simmering point, turn off the heat. Do not let the mixture boil, as this will make the cream and milk taste funny.

STEP THREE – COMBINE THE EGGS YOLKS, SUGAR AND CORNSTARCH

In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the sugar, egg yolks and cornstarch. With a spoon gently mix the sugar and egg yolks together until the sugar has dissolved. Do not beat the sugar and the egg yolks. The reason why is because unlike light and fluffy things like cakes, you should not incorporate air bubbles into the sugar and eggs. This is because you want to achieve a smooth, dense and uniform texture in the final crème brûlée cream.

STEP FOUR – STRAIN THE MILK AND CREAM

Once the sugar is dissolved into the egg yolks, the pot of milk and cream should have cooled slightly. You are now ready to combine the cream and milk with the egg yolks and sugar. First, place a large sieve over your bowl of sugar and egg yolks. Then take the pot containing the cream and milk, and pour about a cup full through the sieve and into the bowl. Remove the sieve briefly and mix this in. Repeat this until all of the milk and cream from the pot is in the bowl. Discard the pineapple sage.

STEP FIVE – COMBINE THE MILK AND CREAM MIX WITH THE EGG YOLKS AND SUGAR AND HEAT FOR 8-10 MINUTES

Now pour the contents of the bowl back into the pot. Replace the pot onto the stove and set the heat to low. Stirring the pot, continue to heat the mixture for 8-10 minutes. Don’t stop stirring! You will begin to see the mix thickening up after a while. Once it looks nice and thick and creamy, turn off the heat. If you overcook the mixture, the egg will start to solidify and it will become grainy. So keep an eagle eye on the texture and if you see this beginning to happen, immediately remove the pot from the heat.

STEP SIX – SPOON INTO RAMEKINS AND REFRIGERATE

Once your crème brûlée cream is nice and thick after 8 minutes or so, it is time to get it into ramekins. Simply spoon the mixture into four ramekins, smoothing out the tops if need be. Then place the ramekins in the refrigerator for 40 minutes – 24 hours.

STEP SEVEN – CREATE THE CARAMELIZED TOPS

When you are preparing to serve the crème brûlée, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator. Now it is time to create that caramelized sugar top. Firstly, spoon a thin layer of sugar over each ramekin. To melt the sugar you can either use a blow torch, or place them under the broiler. A blow torch is the easier method as you have more control. But if you torch them, please be careful and do so on a non-flammable surface that is free of paper or anything else that could catch alight. If you choose to use the broiler, try to get the ramekins as close to the flame as possible. Keep a close eye on them and shift any that are browning unevenly. Once your ramekins all have developed a nicely caramelized top, it is time to serve.

STEP EIGHT – SERVE!

Serve the crème brûlée immediately. Do not re-refrigerate before serving as this will soften the caramelized tops.

Crème brûlée is neither a hot nor a cold dessert. During the setting time the custard cream will become chilled. When you torch or broil-melt the caramelized tops, this injects a warmth to the top of the dessert, while the very bottom will still retain some of its refreshing coolness.

This chilled/warm medley makes crème brûlée a perfect dessert to serve at just about anytime of the year. It is also easy enough to make as part of a casual meal, but classy enough to end off a special occasion as well.

Do you guys have a specific occasion at which you like to serve crème brûlée? Or is it something so good you could eat it any time? Let us know in the comments!

And if you want some more dessert inspo and recipes, check out our Cranberry Pound Cake with Orange Glaze, the Decadent Strawberry Funnel Cake Recipe, and our Teacup Peach Cobbler recipe.

Leave a Comment

Tweet
Share
Pin
+1
Share