Lavender Crème Brulee (No Torch Needed)

I admit it.  I am obsessed.  What can I say.  Crème Brulee # 3 is here—this time Lavender Crème Brulee.  Hey, I posted some healthy recipes in between.  

Lavender Creme Brulee Closeup

Lavender Creme Brulee Closeup

Lavender Crème Brulee brings together two wonderful food sensations: the crunchy melted sugar topped custard of a standard crème brulee along with the subtly floral, spring-like flavor of lavender.  Mother’s Day brunch anyone?  

Lavender Creme Brulee from above

Lavender Creme Brulee from above

I became obsessed with lavender a half dozen years ago, after tasting a lemon lavender cupcake at the Wild Tomato, one of our favorite restaurants.  When I made a lemon lavender shortbread that ribboned in the Wisconsin State Fair, it was officially one of my favorite flavors.

Last summer we went to a lavender festival on a nearby island farm and my interest went over the top.  Yes, there is an island in Lake Michigan that has climate and soil conditions that are near perfect for its growth–who would have thought!  Lavender ice cream, lavender soda. Beautiful fragrant fields… 

Ferry

The ferry to the lavender farm

Lavender Field

Lavender Field

Of course eating dessert can make some people feel guilty.  And I have been reading a lot about the dangers of added sugar lately.  They are now saying we should limit our intake to about 10% of calories/day (from 6-15 teaspoons).  Ouch!

Lavender Creme Brulee

Lavender Creme Brulee

So I decided that when I eat something sweet, I want to eat something amazing!  Something that doesn’t break the bank.  A serving of this lavender crème brulee comes in under 300 calories with about 4 teaspoons of added sugar.  And yup, tastes great. 

Check. And check. 

(Lavender) Crème Brulee is one of those fortunate desserts that taste like they are difficult to make (or at least unpredictable)… but are actually easy.  In truth, I’ve made this dozens of times and never had a failure.  And believe me, I’ve had LOTS of baking failures.  And contrary to popular belief you don’t need to buy a single-use torch; this can go right under the broiler (placed in broiler safe dishes and carefully watched). 

Mix, then strain

Mix, then strain

Pour into broiler safe ramekin

Pour into broiler safe ramekin

Add back a few buds if desired

Add back a few buds if desired

Remove carefully from waterbath

Remove carefully from waterbath

Top with sugar to glaze

Top with sugar to glaze

Lavender Creme Brulee on table

Lavender Creme Brulee on table

So no apologies here for a third crème brulee recipe.  Or to my family for the 57th (approximate) batch. Yup, I’ll never be the Grinch who Stole Dessert!    

No Torch Lavender Creme Brulee
Serves 6
Lavender Crème Brulee brings together the crunchy melted sugar topped custard of a standard crème brulee with the subtly floral, spring-like flavor of lavender.
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287 calories
21 g
190 g
21 g
4 g
13 g
110 g
36 g
19 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
110g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 287
Calories from Fat 190
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
33%
Saturated Fat 13g
63%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 190mg
63%
Sodium 36mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 21g
7%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 19g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
16%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
9%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 egg yolks
  2. 1 ½ cup whipping cream (see note)
  3. ½ c skim milk
  4. 1/3 c sugar
  5. 2 T lavender
  6. 1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  7. 9 teaspoons brown sugar for topping (approx. 1 ½ teaspoons per serving)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Place 6 (4-oz) ceramic ramekins in 13x9-inch pan.
  2. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise, then scrape out seeds. Place seeds and pod in a small saucepan with cream, skim milk and sugar and heat until just below boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, add lavender and let sit until mostly cool.
  3. In small bowl, slightly beat egg yolks with wire whisk. Add cooled cream mixture and stir until well blended. Strain into a pouring vessel. Pour cream mixture evenly into ramekins. The lavender buds will strain out, but I like to add some back (6-12/dish) for extra flavor and texture.
  4. Carefully place pan with ramekins in oven. While in oven, pour enough boiling water into pan, being careful not to splash water into ramekins, until water covers half to two-thirds of the height of the ramekins.
  5. Bake 25 to 40 minutes until the center of the custard is set but jiggly (it’s okay if sides are jiggly too as long as the center is set)
  6. Carefully remove ramekins—I found that lifting with a hamburger turner worked best. Refrigerate until chilled, approximately 2 hours (longer is okay if you wish).
  7. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 teaspoons of brown sugar over each chilled custard. Place under pre-heated broiler to brown. Refrigerate until rechilled, 1-2 hours
Notes
  1. This will keep a few hours in the refrigerator but the topping will become soft if left overnight. Should this occur, you can blot away the moisture with a lint free cloth, add new brown sugar and broil again to recrisp.
beta
calories
287
fat
21g
protein
4g
carbs
21g
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Art of Natural Living https://artofnaturalliving.com/

22 thoughts on “Lavender Crème Brulee (No Torch Needed)

  1. mae

    I must be reading badly… your recipe calls for 1/2 cup skim milk but I don’t see where you use it. I love lavender so it sounds delicious.

    Also, I wondered, which Lake Michigan island?

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    1. Inger Post author

      Thank you so much for catching this Mae, the skim milk goes with the cream. I will edit the recipe. There are a couple of lavender farms on Washington Island and one of them does a Lavender Festival one weekend in July. There aren’t a lot of activities but the food is good (the ice cream was amazing!) and you can team a day trip with other island activities.

    1. Inger Post author

      I have so much trouble with cheesecake (partly because I keep trying to convert regular recipes to minis, which need really smooth sides…), that I was overjoyed to find out how easy this was!

  2. grace

    you definitely don’t need to apologize for this–bring on the brulee! i’ve found that i really like lavender in sweets…in VERY low amounts. i like to just be able to pick up on it. this recipe might be a little too flowery for me but i’d still very much like to eat it! 🙂

  3. David

    Well, Inger, as you can imagine, I am a huge fan of lavender crème brûlée. Our recipes are slightly different, so I’d have to try yours soon! I had my first lavender crème brûlée in San Francisco and have never looked back…

  4. Pingback: Lavender Vanilla Angel Food Cake - Art of Natural Living

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