Grab your flamethrowers…
…or a kitchen torch. Because this is a dessert recipe where you can play with fire. And if you don’t have a kitchen torch (I don’t either, actually) you can still make this paleo creme brûlée using your broiler.
Growing up, I was a francophile before I learned the word to describe my obsession with French food and lifestyle. I yearned to experience the je ne sais quoi elegance of French culture, and fell asleep many nights reading Julia Child’s The Art of French Cooking. My favorite childhood dessert was the distinctly French Creme Brûlée, a treat I only recently re-created in a paleo-friendly version.
Creme Brûlée is, perhaps, the easiest and most elegant dessert you can make. If you’re entertaining, you can make the custards a day or so in advance, and the flavor profile will deepen. Then, sprinkle on the sugar and broil before setting the ramekins on the dinner table with a voila!
About the ingredients in Paleo Creme Brûlée
Full fat, canned coconut milk creates the creamy texture for the custard and cannot be substituted with another non-dairy milk. I do recommend using a brand like Thai Kitchen, which has a bit of guar gum as an emulsifier to create a creamier consistency.
Egg yolks add creaminess and thicken the custard. The nutritional therapist in me wants to mention two things about egg yolks… 1. Did you know that many people with egg sensitivities can tolerate egg yolks, because the primary allergen is the protein of the egg whites? (Here’s my DIY, at-home, free food sensitivities test). 2. Egg yolks are the healthiest, most nutrient-dense part of the egg. The cholesterol in egg yolks is a healing nutrient, not an artery-clogging compound.
Coconut sugar is an unrefined sweetener that adds a bit of maple flavor to the custard. A liquid sweetener will not work in this recipe.
Vanilla powder, available here, is pure, ground vanilla beans. It is much cheaper than vanilla beans, as the whole pod rather than just the inner seeds are used. You can substitute 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.
- Preheat the oven to 325. Set a kettle of water to boil and place 4 ramekins in a larger pan (such as a 9x13 glass baking dish).
- Using an electric handheld or standing mixer, whip together the egg yolks with the coconut sugar until light. Whisk in about ½ cup coconut milk. Then slowly whisk in the remaining coconut milk. Whisk in the vanilla.
- Pour into the ramekins, then pour hot water into the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes, until no longer liquid-looking but still jiggly in the center.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or a couple of days.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle the top of each custard with 1 tsp. coconut sugar. Place under the broiler, 4-6 inches away from the heat. Broil until the sugar is bubbling, just a few minutes (keep an eye on it!).
- Let cool slightly and enjoy.