In this Ginger Crème Brûlée from Chef Graham Dailey of Charleston’s Peninsula Grill, the rich flavors of ginger and vanilla combined with the custard’s creaminess provide the palate with a perfect balance of savory and sweet.
- 1 Vanilla bean
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 4 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided, plus more for caramelizing
- 10 Egg yolks
- Fresh fruit, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- In a small saucepan, split the vanilla bean, and combine with the cream, ginger, and ¼ cup of the sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately remove from the heat. Set aside to steep for 30 minutes, and then remove the vanilla bean.
- Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a large mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth. Very slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture to form the custard, whisking quickly and constantly so as not to cook the eggs. Set aside. Fill a large bowl with ice, then place a smaller bowl atop the ice for an ice bath. Pour the hot custard into the smaller bowl. Let it cool for about 20 minutes.
- Divide the custard among 6 (6-ounce) ramekins, and arrange them in a casserole dish large enough to accommodate all of the ramekins.
- Add enough hot water to the casserole dish for it to reach halfway up the outsides of the ramekins. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake, rotating the dish once, until the custard is set, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, bring to room temperature, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- To serve, remove the custards from the refrigerator, and spread a thin layer of granulated sugar on top of each. Using a small kitchen blowtorch, caramelize the sugar until it is golden brown. Garnish each with fresh fruit, if desired, and serve immediately.