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Aug 31, 2017

Maple Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée {gluten free + vegan}

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When I was in college, my roommate worked at a really upscale restaurant as a server. I would spend my evenings hanging out at the restaurant as she was about to end her shift and, while I was waiting, I would get to taste-test some really amazing desserts. Thus my love of creme brûlée was born.

It's been years and years since I've had creme brûlée, but I decided recently that I was going to make a really delicious dairy-free + vegan version at home. For Christmas, I received a kitchen torch and have only had a couple of opportunities to use it. I was really excited that this decadent dessert tasted just like I remembered from all those years ago. So good! 

Maple Vanilla Bean Creme Brûlée

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine 1/4 cup of the dairy free milk and the cornstarch until it forms a slurry. Pour the remaining dairy-free milk into a saucepan and place it on the stove over medium heat. Add the sugar and whisk gently until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to steam. Pour in the dairy-free milk and cornstarch mixture and whisk gently until the mixture begins to thicken. Allow it to cook until it coats the back of a spoon but do not allow it to boil. 

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Using a sharp paring knife, slice the vanilla bean lengthwise to cut open the pod. Use the back of the knife to carefully scrape out the seeds. Add the vanilla bean seeds, maple extract, and salt to the mixture and whisk until combined. Carefully pour the mixture into four small serving bowls. Top each bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic down to touch the top of the custard. This will prevent a skin from forming.

Place the bowls in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until set and chilled. Just before serving, remove the bowl from the refrigerator. Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of sugar on the top of each to coat the custard. Use a kitchen torch to lightly brown and dissolve the sugar. Let it cool so the sugar hardens. 

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