Much prettier in person. Tough taking shots without my camera or light.
Crème brûlée is a misnomer. The English translation of this creamy, rich dessert is "burnt cream." If you have ever eaten crème brûlée before, then you know it is not burnt cream. It is made by combining eggs, cream, sugar, and flavor (such as vanilla). The burnt part is crispy, caramelized sugar on top. Silly French.
Given its ingredients, the crème brûlée base is an excellent starter for ice cream. My mother-in-law and I figured this out over the Christmas holiday. She had some left over vanilla crème brûlée base in the refrigerator. We added whole milk to the original recipe and then sent it to the churner. To make it taste more like crème brûlée, we torched some sugar until it was melted and sprinkled it on top of the ice cream. Fun with fire, all part of the holiday fun. Enjoy!
1 large egg
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the egg, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together on low speed until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a medium saucepan until it's very hot to the touch but not boiled.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the cream to the eggs. Return mixture to the saucepan and cook until slightly thickened (mixture should coat the back of the spoon). Add the milk, vanilla, and orange liqueur. Whisk to combine.
Chill the mixture thoroughly (at least 4 hours or overnight). Once chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place plastic or parchment over ice cream (to prevent ice crystals) and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
To serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of caramelized sugar (see below).
Melted sugar is HOT so please be careful!
There are several methods for melting/caramelizing sugar, but for the purposes of this recipe the sugar needs to be melted into a thin sheet so it can be broken easily.
Method #1: Evenly sprinkle 4 to 6 Tablespoons of sugar on a large piece of aluminum foil (preferably non stick). Fold the edges to prevent dripping. Heat the sugar slowly with a kitchen blowtorch until the sugar caramelizes. Allow to cool to room temperature and break into small pieces.
Method #2: Evenly sprinkle 4 to 6 Tablespoons of sugar on aluminum foil or Silpat and place under broiler on low heat. Heat until sugar caramelizes. Watch closely because the sugar will burn quickly. Allow to cool to room temperature and break into small pieces.