California Walnut and Vanilla Creme Brulee

  • Yield 15 servings
  • Prep 35 mins
  • Cook 60 mins

A special occasion custard dessert topped with a caramelized sugar crust.


6 cups whipping cream
3 cups California walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons walnut oil
18 -- egg yolks
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 or 2 -- vanilla beans, split and scraped
-- Glazed Walnuts:
1/2 cup California walnuts
2 teaspoons maple syrup
-- Icing sugar, for dusting
-- To serve:
1 cup granulated sugar, for caramelizing


  1. Combine cream, walnuts and walnut oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Heat to 200F. Remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes to allow infusion of walnut flavor. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and keep warm. Discard walnuts.
  2. Beat egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until pale and thick. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Gradually pour cream into egg mixture, whisking until combined.
  3. Pour mixture into 15 (6-ounce) ramekins. Place ramekins in a large baking pan; pour boiling water into the pan to halfway up sides. Bake at 300F about 50 to 60 minutes, or until custard is just set. Remove from oven and set ramekins on a rack to cool slightly. Transfer to refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  4. To preapre glazed walnuts: Place walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium heat. Stir a few minutes until fragrant. Stir maple syrup into walnuts and cook until well coated and syrup is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer to parchment paper-lined tray to cool. Dust lightly with icing sugar.
  5. Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar on each ramekin. Using a kitchen torch or oven broiler to brown and caramelize sugar. Immediately top with a glazed walnut.



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