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Lavender Creme Brulee topped with blueberries

Lavender Crème Brûlée

The texture of crème brûlée is like velvet, because it is made with egg yolks, which make it rich and creamy. Unlike it's custard cousins, flan and creme caramel, the crème brûlée doesn't get inverted, so it doesn't need the strength of the egg whites to hold its shape. It is made in a shallow ramekin, so it can be partnered with just the right ratio of burnt sugar. The gossamer thin layer of caramel cracks like glass, but the contrast to the custard below is the perfect yin and yang of the pastry world. In truth creme brûlée is so simple to make, despite its reputation of the opposite.


  • 1 qt heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers or 12 fresh stems of flowers
  • Berries and lavender for garnish


  • Heat the cream, vanilla bean, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, salt, and lavender over medium heat, until it comes to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and allow to steep for at least 30 minutes, but this can be done the day ahead (stored in the refrigerator) for a more intense flavor. Warm the cream again if you've chilled it.
  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Mix the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. Liaison the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks. Strain the custard mixture into a measuring cup. Fill six 4-inch Crème Brûlée Dish. Bake the creme brûlées on a baking sheet filled with water, to create a water bath. Bake until the brûlées are just set, like set jello, about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the temperature of the custard going into the oven. Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving, but can be made a day or two ahead.
  • To brûlée the top, dust with sugar and caramelize the sugar with a Blow Torch or under a gas broiler (electric broilers don't work well for this). See my instagram video to watch me make, bake and brûlée the tops.