I love cooking and baking with edible flowers and this Lavender Creme Brûlée Recipe might just be one of my favorites! This is such a simple dessert recipe that always gets rave reviews! Especially in the summertime when you want something cool and refreshing!
The creme brûlée is rich and creamy with just the perfect hint of lavender and sweetness coming from the honey. And the crunch of that burnt sugar, with the cool, whipped cream just can't be beat! If you're looking for the basics of creme brûlée you can check out my Classic Creme Brûlée Recipe and if you want something even more fun, try my Creme Brûlée Cheesecake, a mashup of two of my favorite desserts!
Recipe Pairing Ideas:
- This would pair beautifully as a dessert with my Salmon and Beurre Blanc Sauce or my Slow Roasted Lamb Chops with Mustard Tarragon Sauce
- To begin, try my Creamy Cucumber Salad with Dill, or my Sweet Pea Panna Cotta with King Crab would also be great choices!
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Step 1: Create the Creme Brûlée Base
In a saucepan combine the heavy cream, honey, vanilla bean paste, and pod and salt. Once the honey dissolves you can add the lavender.
What type of lavender is best for cooking?
- When cooking or baking with lavender it's important to use "Culinary Grade Lavender" so you know it is safe to eat.
- Regular Lavender used for potpourri or sachets may be treated with various pesticides, preservatives that would made it harmful to eat, so be sure it's marked "Culinary grade!"
- You'll use the lavender in both the base of the custard, by steeping it in the warm cream, as well as on the whipped cream as a garnish, and I think it just makes for the prettiest presentation.
Steep the Lavender for the Best Flavor
- Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat, cover, and steep for 30 mins. This will infuse the cream with the flavors of lavender flowers, honey, and vanilla.
- Do not rush this step or your creme brûlées won't have much lavender flavor!
- It's better to use a smaller amount of lavender and longer steeping time, than more lavender with a shorter steeping time.
- It's the difference between a perfume-flavored Creme Brûlée and a soft hint of lavender in the background.
Step 2: Prepare Egg Yolk Base
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks in a separate bowl.
Strain the Mixture Twice for Best Texture
You first want to strain the heavy cream mixture into a 4-cup Pyrex pitcher to remove the lavender and vanilla pod. Then, slowly pour the strained cream mixture into the egg mixture whisking all the while.
Then, clean out your strainer and strain the mixture once more back into a cleaned-out 4-cup Pyrex pitcher. The second straining will create an even smoother texture for your custards.
Selecting the Right Ramekin
- Pour the mixture into 4 oz ramekins. It helps if the ramekins are low and shallow. This will make it easier for the broiling element of your oven to caramelize the sugar thereby eliminating the need for a kitchen torch.
- But, if you are comfortable with a kitchen torch and want a deeper Creme Brûlée, use a deeper ramekin.
- They will just take a bit longer to bake in the water bath about 10-15 minutes more with this kind of depth.
Step 3: Bake & Rest
Place the ramekins in a roasting pan inside a 350F (150C) degree oven, and pour hot water from a kettle slowly in the corner of the roasting pan. The heat from the water bath will bake the custards with gentle heat and create a silky smooth texture.
Water Bath Tips:
- The custards will not set if they are mixed with splashed water, so be careful not to splash them when preparing the water bath.
- Pour just enough water so that it reaches halfway up the ramekins.
- Bake for 25-30 mins for shallow ramekins (1-inch-deep) or 45-50 mins for deeper ramekins (2 inches deep) just until custards are set and jiggle slightly, but they should be more firm the jiggly.
- Remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow them to cool. Then, refrigerate the custards overnight, uncovered. This will prevent them from forming a skin.
You can even place the ramekins back into the roasting pan (without the water) to place in the refrigerator. This will make it easier to transport them to and from the fridge.
Step 4: Broil the Sugar Topping
To create the burnt sugar on your Lavender Creme Brûlées, sprinkle the top of each custard with brown sugar. Then position your oven rack on the highest level. you really want to get as close to the heating implement it will safely go.
Set your oven to broil. Then place the custards on a flat cookie sheet and place under the broiler for about 10-15 seconds, or until the sugar has browned and caramelized.
Do Not Leave the Broiling Unattended
- Do not walk away from custards under broiler you must watch this carefully or they will catch fire if left too long to broil! Sugar is extremely flammable!
- Allow the Creme Brûlées to cool slightly. Then garnish each custard with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and a sprinkle of dried lavender blossoms on top et voila!
When you bite into these Lavender Creme Brûlées you get that warm crackle of the sugar, the cold custard underneath, and of course that lightly flavored whipped cream on top sprinkled with lavender blossoms. Pure heaven!
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- 3 cups (700ml) of heavy cream
- 2 ½ (37 ml) tablespoon honey
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped of its seeds
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) culinary grade lavender
- pinch of salt
- 6 egg yolks
- 8 teaspoon (40 ml) brown sugar for the tops
For Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a saucepan combine the heavy cream, honey, vanilla bean paste and pod, lavender and salt. Bring to a simmer. Turn off heat, cover and steep for 30 mins.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150C).
- Meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks. Strain the heavy cream mixture into a 4-cup Pyrex pitcher to remove the lavender and vanilla pod. Then slowly pour the strained cream mixture into the egg mixture whisking all the while.
- Using a cleaned out fine mesh strainer, strain the mixture once more back into a cleaned-out 4-cup Pyrex pitcher. The second straining will create an even smoother texture for your custards. Pour mixture into 4 oz ramekins, and place in a roasting pan.
- Place roasting pan in the oven and pour hot water from a kettle slowly in the corner of the roasting pan (to avoid splashing into the custards. They will not set if they are mixed with splashed water, so be careful not to splash).
- Pour just enough water so that it reaches half way up the ramekins. Bake for 25-30 mins for shallow ramekins (1-inch-deep) or 45-50 mins for deeper ramekins (2 inches deep) just until custards are set and jiggle slightly, but they should be more firm the jiggly. Allow them to cool, then refrigerate overnight, uncovered.
- To serve, sprinkle the top of each custard with 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. Position your oven rack on the highest rack of your oven, as close to the heating implement it will safely go. Set your oven to broil. Place the custards on a flat cookie sheet and pop under the broiler for about 10-15 seconds, or until the sugar has browned and caramelized.
- Allow crème brulees to cool slightly. Then top each one with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and garnish cream and caramelized sugar with the dried lavender blossoms on top et voila!
- To Make Homemade Whipped Cream: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- Be sure to use "culinary grade" lavender for this recipe. It can be found online.
- IMPORTANT! Do not walk away from custards while they are caramelizing under the broiler. You must watch this carefully or they will catch fire if left too long to broil!!! Sugar is extremely flammable!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 185mgSodium: 34mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g