Lime-Vanilla Crème Brulee

Jules: Ok, you’re Michael. You’re in a fancy French restaurant. You order…Crème Brulee for dessert. It’s beautiful, it’s sweet, it’s irritatingly perfect. Suddenly, Michael realizes he doesn’t want Crème Brulee. He wants something else.
Kimmy: What does he want?
Jules: Jell-O…
Kimmy: JELLLL-O? Why does he want JELL-O?
Jules: Because he’s comfortable with Jell-O. JELL-O makes him comfortable. I realize compared to Crème Brulee its Jell-O, but maybe that’s what he needs.
Kimmy: I could be Jell-O. Jules: NOOO, Crème brulee can never be Jell-O. YOU can never be Jell-O.

Kimmy: I have to be Jell-O!

Jules: You’re never gonna be JELL-O!!!!

Remember this scene from one of my favorite romantic comedies, My Best Friend’s Wedding, where Julia Robert’s character is trying to convince Cameron Diaz’s character that she can never be classified as Jell-O. Someone as classy like Kimmy could never be a perfect match for someone plain as Michael, played by Dermot Mulroney. Opposites do attract, and it’s this imperfect balance needed in a relationship to make those loving and unruly laws of attraction.

Crème Brulee has always been a dessert that I have loved and it was the ultimate dessert that I craved for our special anniversary dinner. There’s no discussion that I would love to be a compared to this perfect dessert like Crème Brulee. (I’m not going to deny it.) It’s one of the most splendid desserts ever created and I’m sorry Jell-O – I’m never going to want to be you. This delicious dessert is really just a simple custard garnished with a sugary crust, plus you have a little pyro-technics fun and caramelize the sugary tops with a blow torch or going safety-wise – under the broiler. (blah not as fun.)

Indulgent, and absolutely magnificent.

Lime-Vanilla Creme Brulee
Adapted from Mesa Grill CookbookPrintable Recipe
Ingredients:3 ½ cups heavy cream ½ cup half and half Grated zest of three limes 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise and seeds scraped) 7 large egg yolks ½ cup sugar ½ teaspoon kosher salt ½ cup turbinado sugar or other raw sugar


In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the heavy cream, half and half, lime zest and vanilla bean paste and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Return the pan to the stove and bring the mixture to a simmer. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, and salt until pale yellow. Slowly temper the hot the cream mixture and egg mixture and mix until combined and strain into a large bowl. Set your hot kettle of water to boil. Place your ramekins (eight 4 ounce containers or four 8 ounce containers) in a large Pyrex baking pan (9×13) and ladle the mixture into the ramekins. Pour hot water about halfway up the sides of the ramekins and bake until the custard is set around the edges but still jiggly in the center, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from baking pan and let cool to room temperature, then cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until cold, about 4 hours and preferably 24 hours. When ready to eat, preheat the broiler (or use a blow torch.) Sprinkle an even coat of turbinado sugar over each brulee until covered, and shake off any excess. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and broil until the sugar is completely melted and dark golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven, and serve immediately.

Review: My entire house smelled like a caramel candy store…it’s absolutely intoxicating. I loved the hint of lime zest combined with the sweet vanilla custard, soooo refreshing and light. I’m thankful that we split the portions into smaller ramekins, and I may have enjoyed crème brulee everyday this past week, too. This dessert is better than eating Jell-O, and using a blow torch is always fun in the kitchen, too.

Side Note: I was happy to use my FREE distressed wood pallet as a backdrop for this dish. I got some scrap wood from work, sanded it down to a fine grain, and painted it an off-cream color. I love the rustic-farm look that it gives. Plus, I practiced the art of the dollop for my food styling skills.

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