Crème brûlée is a dessert that is made of baked custard and topped with a brittle, thin crust of caramelized sugar. It can be served at room temperature and even while cold or warm.
Vanilla is added to the custard but other flavors could also be used like Orange liqueur, fruit, chocolate, or other. Liqueur can be added on top of the caramelized sugar crust and then set on fire.
Nobody knows the exact origin of crème brûlée. Some say it came from France while others claim that it’s from Spain and England. Today it is served in popular French restaurants in Myrtle Beach like The Brentwood Restaurant and Wine Bistro.
The first-ever printed recipe for crème brûlée was published at the 1691 edition of a French cookbook called Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois by a cook at the Palace of Versailles, Francois Massialot. The dessert back then was made of custard, which contained egg yolks, milk, and sugar. It’s actually similar to the crème brûlée served these days. The dessert was called crème anglaise in the book’s second edition.
The dessert had a different name at Trinity College, Cambridge, England. It was called burnt cream. A hot iron is used to burn the college crest into sugar on top of the custard.
Meanwhile, the Catalans claim that their crema Catalana is the original. Their version was made of a rich custard that is flavored with orange zest, lemon, or cinnamon and then topped with caramelized sugar. The first Catalan version of the crème brûlée was noted during the 18th century. It also came by the name Crema de Sant Joseph. It was named after Virgin Mary’s husband, Joseph. Crema Catalana is a traditional dessert that’s served during Saint Joseph’s Day, which is celebrated every 19th of March.