Farm Chef recipe: Crème brûlée

What better way to finish a meal than with a classic 1980s dessert? So often revered, so often sidestepped by home cooks, this little number is fantastic when you get it right.

Serves 4


  • 500ml/18fl oz double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 6 free-range egg yolks
  • 100g/4oz caster sugar (plus extra for the topping)


  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas 2.
  2. Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream.
  3. Bring the cream to boiling point, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  4. In a separate heatproof bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks together until well mixed.
  5. Slowly add the cream to the egg mixture, mixing as you go.
  6. Strain through a fine sieve into a large jug, and then use this to fill six ramekins to about two-thirds full.
  7. Place the ramekins into a large roasting tray and pour in enough cold tap water to come halfway up their outsides.
  8. Place the tray on the centre shelf of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until around the outer edge of each ramekin is starting to set.
  9. Remove the ramekins from the water and set aside to cool to room temperature. Chill until needed.
  10. Just before serving, sprinkle one level teaspoon of caster sugar evenly over the surface, then grill on a high temperature until golden brown and serve.

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