5-Ingredient Instant Pot Crème Brûlée

published Sep 30, 2019
Instant Pot Crème Brûlée

This simple Instant Pot recipe gives you restaurant-worthy results with minimal effort.

Serves4

Prep4 hours

Cook35 minutes

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Credit: Photo: Christine Han/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Crème brûlée is one of those ultra-fancy desserts that’s actually pretty easy to make, but requires some time and skill. The results are always worth the effort, though — a sumptuous, gently sweetened custard, fragrant with vanilla, lies underneath a shattering crust of caramelized sugar. So what if I told you that anyone could have that kind of luxury with just 25 minutes of cooking and no fussy water baths?

Instant Pot crème brûlée turns the arduous task of making crème brûlée into a simple, hands-off task. You mix up a simple sweetened custard, divide it between ramekins, cover, and cook them for just seven minutes in the Instant Pot. The hardest part is waiting for your crème brûlée to cool.

Credit: Photo: Christine Han/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

Use Your Instant Pot for Faster, Easier Crème Brûlée

Most creme brûlée recipes require minimal ingredients: egg yolks, cream, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. But they also require a slow tempering process (gently heating the cream to then gently heat the eggs) before baking. The baking process is particularly tricky, because you need a low oven temperature and a water bath, and you have to maneuver the little pots of creme brûlée in and out of that water bath without getting a drip into the custard.

The Instant Pot pressure-steams creme brûlée to perfection in just a few minutes — allowing you to skip the oven altogether. Whisk the ingredients together, divide between ramekins, cover, lid the Instant Pot, and steam for just seven minutes. It’s important to let the pot naturally release its pressure before removing the ramekins.

Credit: Photo: Christine Han/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

After steaming, you do need to chill the custard completely before brûléeing, which takes as little as four hours. A small propane torch (or brûlée torch) is the tool of choice for caramelizing the top of creme brûlée, but you can use a broiler as long as you can carefully monitor the ramekins while the sugar browns. Keep in mind that broiling will soften the custard just a bit as it heats the whole ramekin.

Instant Pot Crème Brûlée

This simple Instant Pot recipe gives you restaurant-worthy results with minimal effort.

Prep time 4 hours

Cook time 35 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar, plus 4 tablespoons for topping

  • 4

    large egg yolks

  • 1 1/2 cups

    heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • Pinch fine salt

Instructions

  1. Place 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar and 4 large egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. While whisking constantly, pour in 1 1/2 cups cream. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of fine salt and whisk to combine. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a large liquid measuring cup — this will make it easier to fill the ramekins.

  2. Divide the base into 4 (4-ounce) ramekins. Cover each ramekin tightly with aluminum foil.

  3. Place 1 cup water in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Set a trivet or pressure cooker baking sling inside the pot. Nestle the ramekins on the trivet.

  4. Lock on the lid and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Use the manual function to set to cook for 7 minutes on LOW pressure. It will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure and carefully remove the lid.

  5. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

  6. About 10 minutes before serving, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator. Sprinkle each ramekin with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and shake the ramekin to spread the sugar out into an even layer.

  7. Arrange an oven rack in the highest position and preheat the broiler. Place the baking sheet with the ramekins on the rack and broil until golden brown and bubbling, rotating them frequently so that they broil evenly, 3 to 5 minutes total. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cooked crème brûlées can be refrigerated up to 3 days before broiling.