Foolproof Orange and Vanilla Creme Brulee

Foolproof Orange and Vanilla Creme Brulee

Unlike a traditional brulee this isn’t cooked in a water bath yet it still retains a silky-smooth texture due to the oven’s gentle heat. A kitchen blow torch is essential for an evenly caramelized top.

1 day total time

30 mins active time


Serves 4



  • 1½ cups (12 fl oz) heavy cream
  • ¾ cup (6 fl oz) milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 orange
  • 4 oz egg yolks

    approx 8 large eggs

  • ⅓ cup (2 oz) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (1¾ oz) demerara sugar


  • 1Place the cream, milk and vanilla in a saucepan. Using a microplane grate over the orange zest to capture the oil and aroma. Bring to a boil over medium heat then immediately remove from the heat. Stand for 5 minutes to infuse.
  • 2Insert the wire rack into position 5. Meanwhile, continue to the next step.
  • 3Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until just combined. The sugar will burn the egg if it’s whisked and allowed to stand for too long so immediately pour the warm cream into the egg yolks.
    Tip: Avoid over-whisking as it will aerate the mixture too much.
  • 4Pour through a fine sieve and stand for 1 minute. This removes air bubbles and creates a smooth custard.
  • 5Place the ramekins on the pizza pan and pour in the custard until three-quarters full.
  • 6Once preheated, place the ramekins on the rack. Pour in the remaining custard to avoid spilling. Using a blow torch, carefully run the flame across the top to remove air bubbles. Slowly slide the rack into the oven and start the timer. When the Rotate Remind signals, carefully rotate the pan and continue cooking.
  • 7The custard should have a slight wobble in the center. Cooked for too little, the custard will not set. Cooked for too long, the custard will curdle. If it’s not ready give it a bit more.
  • 8Cool for 10 minutes then refrigerate uncovered, for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • 9Evenly spread the demerara sugar over each custard then tip out the excess and clean the edges. Using the blow torch, carefully run the flame across the sugar until caramelized. Stand for 5 minutes to set.