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Making one large crème brûlée is easier than putting together lots of little ones and means more surface area for everyone's favorite part: the crunchy caramelized sugar.

This article originally appeared in our Holiday 2020 issue. Get the magazine here.

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Credit: Photography by Paola + Murray

Recipe Summary

total:
6 hrs 20 mins
Yield:
8 to 10
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 325°. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a low simmer over medium-low. Remove from the heat.

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  • In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the yolks, granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, the rum extract (if using), and vanilla until the mixture is pale and thick, about 2 minutes. Very slowly drizzle the warm cream into the egg mixture, whisking gently until the mixture is well combined but not foamy.

  • Slowly pour the cream mixture into a large shallow ovenproof baking dish (approximately 9 by 13 inches). Place the dish inside a large roasting pan. Pour enough warm water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake just until the crème brûlée is set at the edges but still a bit wobbly at the center, about 50 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

  • About 10 minutes before serving, remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator. Sprinkle with the superfine sugar in an even layer. Using a kitchen torch and working in a swirling motion, melt and caramelize the sugar. (If you don’t have a torch, broil until browned, 2 to 3 minutes, watching constantly to prevent burning.) Let rest for 5 minutes to let the sugar to harden. Serve immediately.

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