When I think of creme brûlée, I think, Now that’s a grownup dessert. You can find it at a fancy restaurant. You surpass the child safety lock on the torch. You treat the breakable ramekins with care as you eat the rich, decadent custard in one sitting. But not only is it a simple and pure dessert (just cream, sugar and yolks), but put it in a Mason jar, and all austerity disappears.
This truth came to mind after I read “…because I’m twentysomething” a blog post that went viral recently. Perhaps if you’re in your twenties, you’ve come across it shared by other twentysomething friends. Perhaps you relate with Jessica, blogger of todaywaysmeaningful who has also felt the pressures of living a life we think we’re suppose to have by the time we reach a certain age—whether it’s 25 or 16 or 50. Perhaps this resonates:
i’ve always liked including myself in the 20.something. category. growing up, but not quite grown up. you’re an adult, but still recognize that you’re part kid. i’ve enjoyed the navigating of adulthood and all of my new first time experiences. a new job. my first ‘grown-up’ paycheck. growth. being old enough to rent a car. but it seems like the older i’ve gotten, the more aware i’ve become of my short-lived stay in the ‘twenties’ and the pressure to fit the mold of all of the rest of the twentyfivers.
i’ve started to think about how easy it is to become controlled by our age. and the expectation of what your age signifies to everyone else. how old you should be by the time you graduate.buy your first house. get married. have kids. start your retirement. suddenly it seems like there are all these benchmarks to meet, even when they don’t match the goals you are trying to reach.
because as easy it is to forget, you’re free to do what you want with your life…
…and when you’re in your twenties, i hope you buy a plane ticket to paris. i hope you get lost wandering all of the streets. i hope you travel the world and read lots of new books. i hope you have interesting conversations over warm cups of tea. i hope you drink out of mason jars while dancing barefoot in the grass….
I hope in your twenties you’ll also eat creme brûlée from Mason jars. Rather than adhering to the mold of a conventional ramekin that makes a divine combo of everyday ingredients appear as it “should” be (a sophisticated grownup treat), imagine having jars of creme brûlée in your fridge. Ready for you to indulge. On your own time. No special occasion. No agenda. You open the fridge. You spoon out a bite. Savor it. Put the lid back on top. Come back later for the next. No pressure to finish it all on the spot, no pressure for it be anything, but the pure and simple and exquisite thing that life—I mean, creme brûlée is.
I guess I can’t help, but see it as the same lesson as the final notes of the post, “hold on. slow down. and breathe in. your age is your age. but more importantly, your life is your life.”—hold on. slow down. enjoy life one spoon at a time, your creme brûlée is your creme brûlée.
This recipe is adopted from. Food Network’s Star, Alton Brown.
Special equipment: Brûlée torch
Mason jars: 6 4oz Regular Mouth Quilted Crystal
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 quarts hot water
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place cream and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Keep watch and make sure not to let cream boil over. Trust me, otherwise it gets messy! Set aside and let cool for 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar and egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually to avoid the eggs from scrambling.
- Pour the liquid into 6 4 oz Mason jars. Place the jars into a large cake pan or roasting pan.
- Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the jars.
- Bake just until the creme brûlée is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the jars from the pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days to set well.
- Remove the creme brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. If too cold, the vapor from being the refrigerator will make hard to melt the sugar.
- Divide the remaining 1/4 cup sugar equally among the 6 jars and spread evenly on top. Wipe away any access sugar around the rims.
- Using a torch, melt the sugar allow a crispy top to form. Be careful and avoid the edges of the glass jar more than you would if you were using ramekins. You don’t want to melt the glass.
- Allow the creme brûlée to sit for at least 5 minutes before indulging. ( I know hard to wait.)