Ok, here we go. I think I'm far enough though the head congesiton to write a coherent post on the creme de brule and to the matter T directly addressed in her comments the other day.
First, let me tell you that I am a huge fan of this desert which, as I understand it was developed by a monk who need a way to use the leftover yolks after making mirange. a good article can be found here. http://www.coquinaria.nl/english/recipes/05.2histrecept.htm
I myself have made the creme brule on many occasions. This is the first desert that wifey and I made in our apartment after we moved into downtown Atlanta. We have made many renditions of this favorite and I must say it is quite difficult to prepare. I always found the custard to have warmed or the toping not sufficiently crispy or there was liquid on top or the custard didn't make and you didn't have a dessert and on and on. So difficult did we find the creme brule that I know we prepared a back up on several differnt occasions.
So, when I ran into the tortious one in the Kroger buying stuff for creme brule at 11:30 or so on Saturday, I must honestly say I was skeptical. I really thought it took more time for the stuff to congeal and it seems the times we had best success was went the little pots made it to the fridge well before noon. (side note - making it the night before is fraught with peril becasue the custard often develops a tough layer on top)
So, I engaged wifey in a bit of discussion as to the liklihood of acutally having creme brule for dessert and I must say wifey thought it could be done. I was hopeful.
So, over for diner and out come these little ramikins for the creme brule. I must congratulate the tortious one on several fronts. 1) finding a real vanilla bean here in maconga. I had no idea you could get those here. I'd never seen one in person before. I thought for sure you could get one off the internet, but local procurement before the opening of the fresh market is a showing of mad skilz in deed. 2) The custard set up perfectly, nuff said. 3) The use of the brown sugar on top. Well played indeed. The brown suger caramalized easily, leaving the creamy custard below quite cool as it the proper way. Once caramalized, the brown suger gave the appropriate crunch for successful creme brule.
I'll take a few notes from that dinner party, yes I will.