Vanilla Ice Cream Is The Shortcut To Making Easier Crème Brûlée

3-ingredient creme brulee
3-ingredient creme brulee - Sophie Putka/Mashed

There's a reason so many restaurants feature crème brûlée on their dessert menu. You can flavor it any number of ways, it has a delicate, creamy mouthfeel, and it is universally adored by fancy foodies and basic food-lovers alike. While you don't have to be a restaurant-level chef to make crème brûlée at home, it's not a simple dish to master. Achieving the perfect texture requires you to temper eggs with hot cream. This prevents the eggs from scrambling as you mix them in. Mashed recipe developer Sophie Putka bypasses this entire step in her 3-ingredient crème brûlée. Instead of heating cream, sugar, and vanilla and then slowly mixing in eggs, she uses vanilla ice cream.

This works because both ice cream and crème brûlée are made of cream, sugar, and vanilla. By melting down this frozen treat, you eliminate three ingredients and a tricky step in the prep process. This recipe comes together in just over a half hour, and most of that time is spent baking the crème brûlée, thanks to Putka's ice cream shortcut.

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Crème brûlée in water bath
Crème brûlée in water bath - Sophie Putka/Mashed

Crème brûlée may be most recognizable by its crunchy, burnt sugar topping, but the custard is just as important in the overall experience. Vanilla ice cream makes a prime substitution for cream, sugar, and vanilla in Sophie Putka's crème brûlée recipe, which puts the emphasis on the filling. To start, you'll obviously need to melt the ice cream. Putka recommends zapping it for about a minute in the microwave. Then, stir it up to complete the melting process, and allow it to cool. At this point, you'll add your egg yolks to give it that classic crème brûlée consistency.

Each ingredient in this 3-ingredient crème brûlée recipe serves a specific purpose. The ice cream, which is made of cream and sugar, gives the dessert its creaminess. It has roughly the same amount of milk fat as the heavy cream that professional chefs tend to use in their crème brûlée. And, it contains the sugar and vanilla you'd otherwise have to add. The egg yolks in this recipe, on the other hand, add thickness. Eggs contain lots of proteins, which cling to moisture in the oven, thickening your mixture. No one will detect that you took a shortcut when they dig into this crème brûlée because it delivers a silky smooth texture you would expect from a restaurant.

Read the original article on Mashed.