Lavender Creme Brûlée

Best lavender creme brulee (click through for recipe)Here in southern Missouri, where we live, spring is tormenting us. One day it's nice and warm; you could totally wear sandals and no jacket at all (which excites me as I LOVE sandals). The next day it's cold, and I find myself pulling my coat back out of the closet. 

Also, one of my brulees got a little too toasty. Guess which one? I tend to do that to my first one almost every time. I get too zealous with my torch, I guess. 🙂 Luckily, the toasty ones are still yummy.Lavender creme brulee  Despite the weather, we've all decided it's spring. It just is. That means we're free to seriously shop for swimsuits, break out our favorite pair of sandals (if our toes can take the chill), and make all manner of spring-inspired treats. I got the ball rolling with these citrus tarts. Now I'm in the mood to make lavender everything and start up my ice cream maker. Today—lavender creme brulee.Lavender milkBest creme brulee (click through for recipe)      Lavender Creme Brulee, makes six to eight (depending on your ramekins' sizes)
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.

1 quart heavy cream
1 scant teaspoon dried lavender buds
1/2 cup (granulated) sugar

6 egg yolks
1/2 cup superfine sugar
6-8 fresh lavender leaves (optional)

In a large sauce pan, heat the cream and lavender buds until just boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (10-15 minutes).

In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until the color softens to a pale yellow (2-3 minutes by hand). Strain the lavender buds out of the cream. Add a small amount of cream (1/4 cup) to the egg yolks and stir until combined. Slowly incorporate the rest of the cream into the egg yolk mixture.Lavender buds and lavender leavesBest creme brulee (click through for recipe)Pour the batter into your ramekins (or small glass bowls; anything oven safe is fine). Place in a baking pan and fill with water so that the water comes up halfway, covering the ramekins. Bake at 325°F for 42-45 minutes. 

Allow the creme brulee to cool. Cover, then refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight (up to three days). I really like that you can make this ahead of time and then just finish the tops before serving. This aspect makes these a great option if you're hosting a dinner party, saving you time in the kitchen on the day of.Best creme brulee (click through for recipe) Best creme brulee (click through for recipe)  Top each custard with a spoonful of superfine sugar (granulated will work also, but superfine is best). Sometimes superfine sugar is also called baker's sugar. Use a kitchen torch or the oven broiler to caramelize the sugar topping.Lavender creme bruleeLavender creme brulee    Now you can dip a lavender leaf in sugar and place on top of the creme brulee for a pretty presentation. This recipe contains enough lavender flavor to make these interesting but not overwhelming (sometimes too much lavender can leave your recipe tasting like perfume). If you're on the fence about lavender, you could easily reduce the amount of lavender buds used to reduce the flavor. Try it. See what you think and let us know in the comments. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Sunday of the Folk Collection.