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Bloody Crème Brûlée

A creepy twist on the classic creme brulee for Halloween.



  1. Preheat oven to 300º.
  2. In a saucepan, heat cream, vanilla pod, vanilla seeds, sugar, and salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till bubbles form around the perimeter. Do not bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk eggs in a large glass measuring cup (or bowl). Temper yolks by adding a small amount of hot cream to the yolks while whisking. Repeat a few more times, making sure to add the cream mixture very slowly and to keep whisking so yolks do not cook. Pour tempered yolks back into pan and whisk till smooth. Strain the mixture into a large measuring cup (you may reuse the cup utilized for tempering) to remove the vanilla pod, seeds and any bits of cooked yolk. Mix in food coloring until you get a deep red color.
  4. Place nine 4-ounce ramekins in a roasting pan. Fill the ramekins to the top with custard. Carefully place pan in the oven, and pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up ramekins. Bake until custard is set and jiggles slightly when shaken, about 40-50 minutes.
  5. Remove from water bath and let cool a half hour or so. Chill for at least 2 hours. Before serving, sprinkle with a thin layer of turbinado sugar and broil (approximately 4 inches from element) until sugar caramelizes. Watch carefully as this takes less than a minute. You may also use a kitchen torch to caramelize.


Shallow ramekins take closer to 40 minutes while deeper ramekins can take 50-60 minutes.