ffwd: cheesy crème brulée

Cheesy Creme Brulee

This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie was a nice surprise. Cheesy crème brulée is a savory twist the classic. No sugar added, with grated cheese serving as the brulée.

This recipe was very simple to put together. Hot milk and cream is slowly whisked into beaten egg yolks. The custard is poured over tiny chunks of cheese arranged in baking dishes. Dorie recommended Parmesan and Comté (the French version of Gruyère), with cheddar suggested as an acceptable substitute. I used a new blended cheese I’ve been enjoying from Trader Joe’s. It’s a mélange of Cheddar and Gruyère. It hit the spot. It’s great for snacking too!

Cheddar Gruyere Blend

The custards are baked in a low oven. The recipe’s cooking time didn’t work for me. After 50 minutes at 200F, the custard was still more liquid than set, but I turned the temperature up to 250F, and they were fully cooked in just 10 more minutes. A generous sprinkle of cheese on top and a few minutes under a hot broiler, et voilà, brulée (though I probably should have let them go a couple of minutes longer…)

I used this recipe as an excuse for some new baking dishes. I planned to get a set of what I think of as classic crème brulée dishes, white porcelain, shallower than ramekins, with a fluted edge. The store I went to was out of them, though the guy at the store said he could get them for me “in a few days”. I couldn’t wait, but did find these 3-inch square baking dishes with the right depth. My cheesy crème brulées looked très elegante, and I anticipate using these dishes again and again.

Cute Baking Dishes

I love anything creamy or cheesy. This appetizer being both, it was no surprise that I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the custard hiding under the layer of melted cheese. Howard liked it too and thought it would be interesting to try for breakfast. I like that idea. There are still a couple left, so I’ll see how I can work it into Saturday or Sunday’s breakfast this weekend.

Cheesy crème brulée with a bowl of soup will also make an excellent lunch on this unexpectedly snowy March day. Today I find it hard to believe that the Vernal Equinox and spring is less than two weeks away.

I couldn’t find this recipe on-line already, and we don’t post the recipes for this group, but you can find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. To see what my Dorista blogging friends thought of this recipe, check out their posts here.


Posted on 8 March 2013, in French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. There is nothing outside that remotely suggests spring is only two weeks away here today :-) It looks more like the Night before Christmas.
    We really enjoyed these too – and any food that justifies stunning new dishes is a winner in my book. I like those bowls!

  2. Glad to hear this dish satisfied another cheese loving person. I seem to be in the minority using Comte. I hope you try it some time. To me it was the best part of making this dish.

  3. These are great for breakfast – I’ve had the leftovers as such two days in a row! ;) I really did love these, it suited my tastes perfectly. I’m so intrigued by the melange cheese you used! Sounds terrific. These do look so very elegant, Betsy. Lovely job!

  4. I love your new square baking dishes, and that Cheddar and Gruyere blend was the perfect choice!

  5. Great Job. You did a beautiful job. We are cheese lovers in my family so we really enjoyed these. My favorite was the crispy topping.

  6. Helyn Benjamin

    Hi. Looks and sounds delicious. Did you get much snow? Warming up here finally. Burt and Marion leaving tomorrow am for Boston. Fun having them here. Love xxxxx

    Sent from my iPad

  7. I agree with Karen, those baking dishes are so cute. I also want to try that cheese
    combo from Trade Joe, it looks quite interesting. Have a great weekend.

  8. teaandscones

    I cannot believe I forgot about these. Cheese is always good. I will have to make these.

    Love your little dishes.

  9. Any excuse for new kitchen stuff is a good excuse! Love your new dishes and your Creme brûlée looks great.

  10. Love that they’re square!

  11. I just used my usual ramekins but didn’t put much mixture in so that they stayed shallow. Glad you enjoyed this one.

  12. Betsy, lovely new white baking dishes – it is always so nice and a bit exiting to be using new kitchen stuff. Your Cheesy Crème Brûlée looks just wonderful, just the right color – unfortunately I do not have any left overs but I am sure that this recipe will be made again soon at my house. Interesting that Trader Joe´s would be making such a cheese blend – have never seen any cheese like this around here – it does look convenient though.

    Have a great weekend!

  13. Lovely dishes, they do indeed make your meal look very elegant and I bet you will find many uses for them. I’m reading what everyone else thought of this one, trying to get up the courage to make it. Apparently I’m the only one, but it just sounds weird to me.

  14. Love your pretty little baking dishes!! They are perfect for this Brulee! I love Trader Joe’s for Cheese! The Cheddar and Gruyère version sounds wonderful…will have to keep my eyes open for it. My favorite cheese at TJ”s is their Creamy Toscano soaked in Syrah…pure deliciousness!! Have a great weekend, Betsy!

  15. Oh yeah, I LOVE those dishes (every time I use my square ramekins, people comment too!) and they are perfect for the brûlée :) I loved this but am most certainly ready to NOT be eating hearty and heavy like this… Roll on spring!

  16. Those dishes are lovely. I also like Howard’s idea of having these for breakfast. I think they’d make an elegant addition to a brunch menu. Also, that cheese seems tailor made for this recipe!

  17. Beautiful little dishes – definitely tres chic!

  18. They look so elegant in those beautiful ramekins, Betsy. I am looking forward to making this and will have to look for that cheddar and gruyere combo at TJs.

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