This Breakfast Crème Brûlée is a lighter take on the classic dessert, and is a creamy, custardy solution to all your breakfast needs and wants.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying to yourself, “Crème brûlée … is not a breakfast food..”
Well, that may technically be true, but should it be?! It’s made from eggs (breakfast food) and milk (breakfast food).
Crème brûlée just screams breakfast. Or maybe it whispers “le petit dejeuner” because, you know… it’s French.
At any rate, it’s delicious, and should be eaten at every possible opportunity. Plus, there are few things in life as nice as cracking a spoon through the hard, hot shell of burnt sugar and scooping up cool, creamy custard.
What is Crème brûlée?
Crème brûlée is French for burnt cream, and is a baked custard topped with caramelized sugar.
How Is This Breakfast Crème Brûlée Version Healthier?
There is, of course, a reason why crème brûlée is a dessert. Typically the “milk” is heavy whipping cream, and there’s sugar in both the custard and on top.
For this breakfast version, I’ve switched out the whipping cream for milk, and used less sugar. It’s still delicious, and is lighter and healthier than its dessert counterpart.
Do I Need Special Kitchen Equipment?
Yes and no. You do need ramekins (or another small, oven safe dish) to cook the custard. Ramekins are inexpensive and easy to find.
You might want a kitchen torch, but you don’t have to use one. If you don’t own a torch– or aren’t convinced you’ll be awake enough to control a fire-spewing torch at breakfast-time– you have another option.
Instead of using a torch, simply turn on your oven broiler, with the top rack as close to the broiler as possible, and let the sugar cook for about 5 minutes. Before you know it, you’ll have a crisp layer of hardened sugar.
Should I Buy a Kitchen Torch? What’s the Benefit over a Broiler?
If you decide you love, love, love crème brûlée, keep in mind that a torch is MUCH faster than a broiler. Also, the hardened top seems to be a little prettier with a torch than when I use the broiler.
Can I Make this Breakfast Ahead of Time?
YES! In fact, you should. I recommend making the custard ahead of time, and then caramelizing the sugar quickly in the morning.
Serve this breakfast crème brûlée as breakfast, at brunch, or even as a light dessert. Top it with some fresh berries, and enjoy!
Want more BREAKFAST ideas? Try these:
Want some COFFEE or TEA to go with your breakfast? Try these:
Breakfast Crème Brûlée
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk OR coconut milk (use canned coconut milk, not refrigerated carton coconut milk)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon or orange
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
- 3 TB sugar, divided
- Toppings: berries, if desired
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Begin boiling water in a tea kettle (or in a small pot).
- Whisk egg yolks until they lighten in color. Add milk, vanilla, zest, 2 TB sugar, and coconut (optional). Whisk to incorporate.
- Divide batter into 4 small ramekins. Skim off bubbles.
- Set ramekins into a large baking dish (I use a lasagna pan), and pour hot water around ramekins into the baking dish. The water should come about halfway up the ramekins.
- Bake 30-40 minutes, until the edges are cooked and the center is still soft. (Note: Cow milk tends to cook more quickly than coconut milk-- cook time will depend on ingredients used.)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- Before serving: Sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the custards.Kitchen Torch Method: Use a torch to burn the sugar.Broiler Method: Alternatively, turn on oven broiler, and set custards under broiler until the sugar begins to brown. It should take about 5 minutes. Watch the custards while broiling to avoid overcooking.
- Top with berries if desired.