How to Make Creme Brulee is easier than you might think! This Creme Brulee recipe is made in the Instant Pot with an extra surprise you’ll love!
If you’ve had Crème Brulee before, you’ll always remember your first time. Cracking the top golden sugar layer to reach the sweet, firm creamy mixture below.
Between the fun of eating it and the flavors it may very well your favorite dessert…..or soon will be.
It’s the type of dessert that feels fancy, like it couldn’t be made at home.
Well it CAN be made at home and this version of Crème Brulee is made in the Instant Pot.
Easy step-by-step recipe instructions with photoS will ensure it’s perfect every time.
What Is Crème Brulee?
Crème Brulee (pronounced ‘cr-ehm bru-lay’) is a French dessert developed in the 1600’s.
It has a sweet vanilla custard layer covered with a burnt sugar layer on top.
To eat the dessert, a spoon is used to crack through the sugar layer to take a scoop of the crème and hard sugar with each bite.
Instant Pot Creme Brulee is delicious, super creamy and very easy to make!
Crème Brulee Ingredients
Despite the exotic appearance Crème Brulee uses simple ingredients that are easy to find.
This recipe version includes a homemade Blueberry Compote added to the bottom of the ramekin too!
- Fresh Blueberries
- Granulated Sugar
- Lemon Juice
- Heavy Cream
- Egg Yolks
- Vanilla Extract
- Sea Salt
What’s Blueberry Compote?
Blueberry Compote is a thick blueberry sauce that can be used on anything from pancakes to topping grilled meats.
It’s added to the bottom of this Crème Brulee recipe for an extra special touch to this delicious dessert recipe.
How to Make the Burnt Sugar Layer for Creme Brulee
This part of the recipe is the step that makes most people thing they couldn’t make this at home.
Sugar is sprinkled on the cooked, chilled crème layer then burnt with a handheld torch to melt the sugar.
As the melted sugar cools, it forms the hard layer that’s so fun to crack with a spoon.
Melting Sugar with a Torch (preferred method)
- Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar on the prepared crème layer.
- Using a handheld torch, circle the flame around the sugar layer to melt the sugar.
WHERE TO BUY A HANDHELD TORCH for Creme Brulee
There are many styles and model of handheld torches. They can be found at finer kitchen stores or ONLINE.
They are inexpensive and handy to have in your kitchen.
Melting Sugar in under the Broiler
The other way to create the sugar layer is with the oven broiler.
- Place the prepared crème ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet under the broiler.
- Watch them closely and rotate them to ensure the sugar melts evenly.
- Remove them when they are golden and bubbly (approximately 5-10 minutes).
I’ve used both of these methods. Though I prefer using a torch, using a broiler works too.
The sugar does not melt exactly the same with the broiler method, however the crème brulee is just as delicious.
How to Make Creme Brulee in the Instant Pot – Step-by-Step
For a detailed printable recipe, please refer the to the recipe card at the bottom of the blog post.
There are three main steps for the Creme Brulee recipe:
- Making the Blueberry Compote
- Preparing, cooking and chilling the Creme portion of the Creme Brulee
- Burning the sugar to form the hard crackable layer on top
All the steps are easy. The hardest part is waiting while they chill before making the iconic sugar crust to crack and eat them!
Making the Blueberry Compote
STEP 1: Add the blueberries to a small saucepan (photo 1).
STEP 2: Add the granulated sugar (photo 2) and lemon juice (photo 3).
STEP 3: Heat over medium until the berries soften and release their juice (aproximately 3-5 minutes).
Making the Creme
STEP 4: Add egg yolks (photo 4) and granulated sugar (photo 5) to a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine (photo 6).
STEP 5: Warm the cream per recipe instructions. Add a small amount, along with vanilla, to the egg mixture (photo 7). Whisk to combine and slowly add the remaining cream (photo 8).
Cooking the Creme
STEP 6: Divide the compote evenly between ramekins or custard cups (photos 9 & 10).
STEP 7: Pour the creme mixture evenly into the 4 ramekins (photos 11 & 12).
STEP 8: Cover the ramekins tightly with foil.
STEP 9: Place the trivet in the Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot.
STEP 10: Place two of the ramekins on the trivet (photo 13). Add the remaining two on a second row opposite the first two (so they are not sitting directly on top of the first one but on the rim over the gap between the first layer ramekins).
STEP 11: Lock the lid and cook on Manual High for 13 minutes. Naturally Release for 15 minutes.
STEP 12: Remove and cool on a rack until they can be easily handled. Chill fully for at least 4 hours or overnight.
STEP 13: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar on the top of each creme brulee (photo 14). Using a kitchen torch (photo 15) or broiled melt the sugar into a hard crust (photo 16).
Pro Tip: Tempering the Eggs
There is an important step when making Creme Brulee and other custard recipes: tempering the eggs.
In Step 5 above you’ll note after the cream is heated, only a small amount is added the the egg yolk mixture and whisked in. This is followed by adding the rest of the warmed cream slowly.
Why do it this way?
If the entire volume of warmed cream was poured directly into the eggs they’d scramble.
Adding a bit of cream, allowing the eggs to warm slightly then pouring in the rest equalizes the temperature. This way the eggs will blend smoothly without scrambling.
This process is called ‘tempering’.
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Crème Brulee with Blueberry Compote in the Instant Pot
- 1 cup fresh blueberries washed and stems removed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch Sea Salt
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar for top crust
- Blueberry Compote
- Place blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice into a small saucepan over high heat for about 5 minutes (or until the berries are soft and release juice). Set aside.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until combined.
- Heat the heavy whipping cream until warm to the touch (about 100-105 degrees). If using a microwave, aproximately 40 seconds.
- Add the vanilla to the cream and pour a small amount into the eggs (to temper them). Whisk well and then add remaining cream slowly.
- Whisk in sea salt and allow the cream mixture to fully cool before proceeding.
- Divide the blueberry compote evenly between 4 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups.
- Pour the cream mixture evenly between the ramekins, the ramekins about 85% full with the cream mixture.
- Cover each ramekin tightly with aluminum foil.
- Place the trivet into the Instant Pot. Pour in 1 cup of water.
- Place the covered ramekins into the instant pot: two on the trivet and the remaining two making a second layer with the bottom of the ramekins sitting on the rim of the ramekins below. NOTE: they will not be placed directly on top of the first layer, but on the space between the first layer ramekins.
- Seal the pot and set on Manual high for 13 minutes. Allow to naturally release for 15 minutes.
- Remove the creme brulee and cool on a rack until they can be easily handled.
- Place into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.
- Before serving, top the crème with 1 tsp sugar and using a kitchen torch, torch until golden brown. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes before serving. (You can also use the broiler in your oven for this part)
How to Make Creme Brulee is easy and delicious with these step-by-step instructions!