Bake custards approximately 35-40 minutes until the custard is set. Do not overbake or your custard will be rubbery. Remove the pan from the oven and remove custard cups from the water. Allow custards to cool before placing in the refrigerator. Chill overnight.
Two hours before serving:
Preheat broiler. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar atop each custard. Place dishes on small baking sheet. Broil until sugar just starts to caramelize, rotating sheet for even browning, about 2 minutes. Chill until caramelized sugar hardens, about 2 hours.
Lower Fat Creme Brulee Recipe
Debbie Puente explains how to make a nonfat, 100-calorie version. Ingredients
2 cups non-fat milk (can use low-fat)
2 Tbs. non-fat dry milk
1 cup whole egg substitute
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar (use as topping) Preparation
Dissolve the dry milk powder by whisking it in a small amount of the liquid milk. After it is dissolved, add the remaining milk. Combine the egg substitute, 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla extract with the milk. When the mixture is completely blended, strain into another bowl.
Spoon the mixture into ramekins, which are in a water bath in a larger dish. (The water should come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.) The water helps maintain a slow heating process for the custard to prevent curdling. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes. After removing from the oven, chill for at least two hours or up to two days.
When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar on top of each custard. Place the ramekins into a larger dish containing ice, if using a broiler to caramelize the sugar. (Kitchen specialty stores sell handheld torches that can be used for this purpose.) Watch the process closely because the dish can quickly go from a nice caramel color to burned.