With all the hours we’re now devoting to kitchen work, the last thing you want to think about is spending even more time whipping up a decadent homemade dessert.
But what if we told you that all it takes is the combination of sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla ice cream, to create a mouthwatering crème brûlée that would make Julia Child proud? That’s right, we’re talking the sweet French classic prepared with simply a trio of common ingredients—and you don’t even need any special equipment.
It works perfectly because melted vanilla ice cream is essentially the same thing as a homemade custard—but rather than simmering and whisking cream and eggs, you just pop the ice cream in the microwave and add an extra yolk once melted.
But we’ll go one further: What if you don’t have ramekins either? Any similarly sized, oven-safe cup or bowl will work (as will a small baking dish for a larger portion of crème brûlée)—or you can use muffin pans; not ideal for guests, but you’re only serving yourself here anyway. Whatever you use, just don’t forget the water bath.
And remember to prepare in advance!
- ½ cup vanilla ice cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
Simply double, triple, etc. the ingredients to make more servings.
1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. Nuke the ice cream in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 30 seconds or until melted. Let cool a bit if hot.
3. Whisk in the yolk until fully combined.
4. Pour the custard into ramekins. Or whatever oven-safe vessels you’re using.
5. Place the ramekins in a pan or baking dish and fill it with water until the water reaches halfway up the ramekins.
6. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the crème is mostly set.
7. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the crème, and refrigerate for several hours. Bring to room temperature when ready to eat.
8. Heat sugar in a small non-stick saute pan on the stove until it’s caramelized, then pour over the crème and tilt the ramekin to spread evenly across the top. Let the melted sugar harden.