Traditional Vanilla Bean Pot De Crème


Doesn’t come anymore traditional than this! Time consuming, but if you have the time to spare- you will learn why this recipe is a classic ! Deliciously rich, creamy and elegant.


You’ll Need

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

6 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon

1- vanilla bean, split and beans scraped into milk

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract

Unsweetened whipped cream for serving.

Here’s How

In a medium saucepan, combine the whole milk with the heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the pinch of salt.

Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape the vanilla seeds into the cream, and drop in the empty pod.

Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Set aside, and allow the vanilla to steep in the cream for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar until thick and creamy, about 1 minute.

Re-heat the cream just until warm, and slowly whisk 1/2 – 1 cup of the hot milk, into egg yolks while whisking vigorously. This is called “Tempering” – By slowly adding in some of warm cream it brings the eggs up to temp and hopefully prevents curdling the eggs.

Now, you can bring the egg yolks close to the same temperature as the milk. Begin cooking over low to moderate heat to form the custard, make sure to whisk constantly, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup or bowl to help you pour into smaller serving vessels or molds if needed.

Preheat the oven to 300’F Degrees. Place rack in center of oven. Bring a teapot filled with water to a boil.

Place the individual serving molds in a large high-sided casserole baking dish. Place the baking dish onto a sheet pan lined with a non slip silicon baking sheet or parchment paper. This will provide double the insulation so the custards can cook evenly and slowly and non slip surface when you remove it from the oven.

Place the sheet pan with the vessel containing the molds on the center rack in the pre heated oven.

Gently stir the custard, remove any film that might have formed along with the the vanilla pod and discard.

Carefully fill each mold with the custard mixture while in the oven.

Once the molds are filled with the custard- carefully pour the hot water from the teapot around the molds. ( try not to splash) Bring the water level up halfway – two-thirds up the sides of the molds.

Bake for 30 to 55 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the molds. To test for doneness, reach into the oven and using a tea towel to protect your hand, gently shake one of the molds. The custard should be set, but will still jiggle slightly, like gelatin.

With tongs carefully remove the molds one at a time onto a tea towel and then onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Wait for the water in the oven to cool before removing the sheet pan for safety.

Serve the pots de crème with lightly sweetened whipped cream and white chocolate shavings or a dusting of powdered sugar.

Makes approximately 8-10 servings depending on the size of your molds.

Note: If eggs begin to curdle in tempering stage immediately cool cream before and further additions and immediately run the mixture through a sieve before proceeding to the next step.


Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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