Lemon Crème Brûlée

Lemon Crème Brûlée

Lemon Crème Brûlée adds a luscious tang to the rich creamy texture of a classic French crème brûlée. It’s lemon zest that adds the dash of flavor, and with it, a dash of antioxidant goodness too. This dessert is the perfect addition to a special occasion brunch like Mother’s Day or Easter, and a decadent finish to any dinner party.
Course Dessert


  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 5 teaspoons grated lemon peel from about 2 lemons
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 teaspoons brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Place eight 3/4-cup custard cups or ramekins in a large baking dish. Metal is best, and 13” x 9” x 2” should be large enough.
  • Add the whipping cream and lemon zest to a heavy saucepan at a medium high setting. Bring to a simmer.
  • Measure the sugar into a bowl and add the egg yolks. Stir or whisk together 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is creamy and thick.
  • Begin to pour the hot cream and lemon mixture into the egg yolk mixture little by little, stirring as you go.
  • Add vanilla extract and salt.
  • When the custard is thoroughly blended, let it stand for about 10 minutes.
  • Now, spoon or pour the custard evenly into the ramekins.
  • Add enough water to the baking dish to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Gently place the baking dish in the oven and bake until the custard is set in the center. It should take just under an hour.
  • Remove the ramekins from the hot water and refrigerate until firm, or 3 hours at least.
  • Preheat the broiler when you are ready to eat.
  • Place the custard ramekins on a baking sheet.
  • Force the brown sugar through a small sieve to create an even coating onto each custard dish.
  • Broil for about 2 minutes, or until the sugar caramelizes fully and browns.
  • Return the ramekins to the fridge for 1 to 2 hours, until the topping has become crispy and hard.
  • Serve immediately – do not refrigerate for more than 2 hours for best flavor and texture.


Tip: Top with fresh berries, blackberries, raspberries, and/or blueberries (about 1 pint,) and/or drizzle with 1/4 cup Chambord (black-raspberry liqueur) or crème de cassis (black-currant liqueur,) or other berry infused liqueur. Make Ahead: You can make the custard up to a day ahead of time. Just cover the custard with plastic wrap before you refrigerate.
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