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Creme Brulee Topping Without A Blowtorch

Asked by johnjengiz. Answered on 28th October 2016

Full question

I would like to make the Christmas Creme Brulee. But what can I use if I do not have a blowtorch?

Our answer

Creme Brulees, such as Nigella's Christmas Creme Brulee (from HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS) are topped with a crisp crust made from melted and caramelized sugar. A blowtorch is ideal for making this crust as it gives an intense blast of heat in a very restricted space. There are several cook's blowtorches available that are ideal for this and moderately priced.

It is also possible to melt the sugar under a grill (broiler) but the results can be varied. The grill needs to be thoroughly preheated, regardless of whether you use gas or electricity, and the grill rack or pan should be positioned as close to the heating element as possible. The main risk when using a grill is that the custard underneath cooks more in the heat and this can cause it to become grainy. To reduce this risk you can sit the pie dish (or ramekins, if making individual portions) in a shallow roasting pan that has some ice water in the bottom while they are being grilled (broiled). Also makes sure that your dish is a type that can go under the grill or broiler.

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