As I said, the perfect crème brûlée (for me) is a soft, cold custard with a thin, hot, brown and crunchy crust. Here are some tips:
- Proceed in two stages: caramelize the tops and refrigerate for about half an hour to cool. Just before serving, re-heat with the blowlamp for just a few seconds.
- It's easier to get a good crust if you use white sugar rather than brown, but it's a matter of taste.
If you do not have a blowlamp, you can try using your grill (broiler): stand the dishes in the grill pan (or a deep, solid baking tray
), add cold water
to half the depth of the dishes, and put under the grill for just one or two minutes (maximum) to caramelize the sugar. The cold water protects the custard against the heat, but it's very difficult because the grill is always too hot.