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Smoky Salted Caramel Creme Brulee

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Servings: 6 people


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2/3 cup super fine sugar (not powdered sugar, can be found in the baking aisle)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1-2 Tablespoons super fine sugar for topping the creme brulee


  • Preheat your pellet grill (or other indirect smoker) to 325 degrees F.
  • Pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan. Cut the vanilla pod lengthwise down the center and remove the seeds. Put all of the seeds and the pod in with the cream. Heat the cream over medium heat until it just comes to a boil (watch so it doesn't boil over). Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Let set for 10 minutes so the vanilla can infuse the cream.
  • While the cream infuses, pour the 2/3 cup sugar in a medium saucepan. Turn the heat to HIGH and watch carefully as the sugar melts. Turn the pan around, swirling the melted caramel with the unmelted sugar (but don't stir) until all of the sugar is melted and the caramel is a nice amber color. Turn off the heat and sprinkle on the salt.
  • Remove the vanilla pod from the warm cream, and then carefully pour the cream over the hot caramel. Whisk constantly as you stir, the caramel will bubble up quite a bit and everything will combine.
  • In a large glass, heatproof bowl crack the eggs and the egg yolks and whisk until the eggs are just combined. Slowly pour the caramel cream over the eggs in a slow, but steady stream while whisking vigorously. If you pour the cream on too fast or without whisking, you can basically scramble your eggs (you don't want to do that). Strain the mixture over a fine sieve into a large quart measuring pitcher.
  • Place 6 ramekins on a baking sheet. Pour an even amount of the salted caramel cream into each ramekin until they are about 3/4 full. Carefully transfer your baking sheet to the grill and pour enough hot water into the bottom of the baking sheet until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Close the lid and cook the creme brulee for 30-35 minutes until the custard is set, but still a little wobbly in the center.
  • Remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow the custard to cool to room temperature. Dust the tops of each with the about a teaspoon of sugar and caramelize with a blow torch. Cool for a few minutes before garnishing with fresh berries and serving.