Creme Brulee Recipe from Holland America

In early August we took a cruise from Seattle to Alaska. It was our second cruise, and our first with Holland America, which we liked quite a bit for the laid back atmosphere, ports and on-ship activities. There was a lot to do, but the thing I enjoyed most (aside from trivia) was the demonstration on how to make Crème Brulee.

Creme Brulee

I never understood what all the fuss was about this dessert. Sure, I’d tasted it before — usually a tiny portion of someone else’s served after a big meal at a restaurant, but it never made any lasting impression. The one we tried on the ship did and I made sure not to lost the little recipe card they gave out; which, btw, I think I will start collecting. This particular recipe from Holland America’s Chef Rudy Sodamin, was designed for eight, but I halved it and made 4 servings. I’m glad I didn’t know anything about making Crème Brulee before starting, because I might have worried that the recipe didn’t call for tempering eggs or straining. I didn’t do any of those things and it was still silky, smooth and had a great vanilla flavor. The only thing that didn’t work out was the bake time of 15 minutes at 300. I’m wondering if that was a typo, because mine took about 50 minutes.

To be fair, I’m going to have to try Alton Brown’s recipe and compare the two, but this one was excellent.  Plus, I got to pull my torch out of the back of the pantry and use it!

Crème Brulee for 4

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 a vanilla bean, halved and scraped – I used Spice Islands
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons brown sugar ( you can use less)

In a large saucepan, combine the cream, the inside of the vanilla bean and the sugar; heat over medium until very hot (not boiling). Whisk in the egg yolks. Remove from heat and pour into 4 flame proof ramekins that you’ve arranged in a pan; in this case, a 9 inch square pan worked perfectly. Fill the pan with very hot water so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Cover tightly with foil and bake on center rack at 300 degrees F for 15 minutes (mine took 45-55 minutes) or until it appears set, but still slightly shaky in the center. Remove from water and chill for 3 hours or until ready to serve. When ready to serve, sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Torch

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  1. Louise says

    I’m sure 15 minutes was wrong. Mine takes about 40 minutes. It’s definitely not my favorite dessert, but I enjoy some of the flavored ones like a strawberry one I had in Burgundy, France.

  2. says

    I forgot to say how cool I think it is that you got a recipe card from the cruise. You probably need to go on lots of cruises to really build up your collection. 😉

  3. says

    I’ve only had creme brulee once and I liked it. Yours looks so rich and creamy! I don’t go to many restaurants that serve it (Wendy’s, Subway, Burger King, Culvers, etc.)!
    I think I’ll leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals!

  4. Jennie says

    Hi Anna! Creme brulee has always been one of my favorites! Thank you for this recipe.
    It made me think of the dessert that I posted as the last dessert I had out at a restaurant for the last giveaway.
    It was called blueberry gateau and it was from Talula’s Garden in Philadelphia. Now if I could deconstruct this recipe and try to recreate it my best description would be an olive oil shortbread crust which was just a thin layer on the bottom, think round cookie. This was topped with what seemed to be blueberry puree filled with whole blueberries (It was gelled) and then that was topped with creme brulee. It was served cold with a side of creme fraiche ice cream. To die for! These are just my thoughts… who knows how close I am to any of it. Just thought I would share.

  5. says

    That sounds like a dessert I’d want to re-create. Now that I’ve mastered the basic recipe, it would be nice to incorporated it into something else.

  6. Martha in KS says

    Thanks for the recipe. I bought a ramekin & torch set several years ago and have yet to make creme brulee’ (the torch has been used to light the BBQ). Guess it’s time to try. I definitely think the timing was incorrect – Dorie Greenspan’s recipe says “bake for 50 minutes.”

  7. [email protected] Caramel Cookie says

    I usually just end up eating the top off the creme brulee 🙂

  8. says

    Oddly I don’t like the “brulee” part of the dessert, but the creme is always tasty. I love chocolate creme brulee! I have never made it, though…

  9. says

    Thanks for sharing! Creme Brulee is on my list to make. This recipe looks really easy! I’ll be trying it out this week.

  10. connie says

    My hubby and I love the Holland America vanilla, coffee, and chocolate brulee they serve at the Pinacle Grill. We bought the cookbook on the ship so we can make it at home. Looking forward to trying it out pretty soon.

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