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Cranberry Creme Brulee

Special holidays call for special desserts. Cranberry creme brulee is a holiday twist on the dessert with a layer of cranberry sauce under the creamy custard.

A torch melting sugar on top of a ramekin of cranberry creme brulee

While I'm not a fan of cold weather, November and December are one of my favorite times of the year. The day after Halloween, I get such a feeling of excitement!

Christmas is my favorite holiday, but I also host Thanksgiving, and I love the planning and cooking of the big meal.

Custard being poured on top of cranberry sauce inside a glass ramekin

Such a special time of year deserves a special dessert. And creme brulee is a special dessert. It's not a dessert you typically make at home. Most people don't keep ramekins in their cabinets, or a kitchen torch.

But I think this custard is easier to make than an ice cream base or pastry cream, because you likely won't need to temper the eggs and cook the custard until it thickens, but without curdling the eggs.

A spoon scooping some custard out from a ramekin of creme brulee

If you don't have a kitchen torch, it is possible to melt the sugar under the broiler, but it's much harder to control the amount and evenness of the melting.

I used white sugar for topping these creme brulees, but you can use light brown sugar, vanilla sugar, or other flavored sugar.

Special holidays call for special desserts. Give creme brulee a holiday twist with a layer of cranberry sauce under the creamy custard.

At restaurants, creme brulees are typically served on doily-covered dessert plates, with a small piece of biscotti on the side. Personally, I used leftover sugared cranberries for garnish.

These cranberry creme brulees can be made up to three days ahead. Just take them out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you melt the sugar topping. These custards are best served cool, but not too cold. It makes a nice contrast with the warm, crispy melted sugar topping.

Special holidays call for special desserts. Give creme brulee a holiday twist with a layer of cranberry sauce under the creamy custard. #CranberryWeek

Cranberry Creme Brulee

Yield: 8 (4-oz) ramekins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Chilling Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours

Special holidays call for special desserts. Give creme brulee a holiday twist with a layer of cranberry sauce under the creamy custard.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 4 oz white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar, divided
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce (store-bought or homemade)

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup of the heavy cream and white chocolate chips in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir continuously until the chocolate is melted.
  2. Remove from the heat, and stir in the remaining cup of cream, vanilla and pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, with a handheld mixer, beat the egg yolks with ¼ cup of the sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and tripled in volume.
  4. Feel your cream mixture. If it's still hot, gradually drizzle ½ cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture while continuously whisking, then add the remainder of the cream. If your cream mixture is room temperature, or even cool, you can add it all at once to the egg yolk mixture.
  5. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
  6. Place 8 four-ounce ramekins in a large cake pan or roasting pan. Place 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce in the bottom of each. Use a fork to mash it down into an even layer.
  7. Pour some of the creme brulee custard into each ramekin, filling each nearly full.
  8. Pour very hot water into the cake or roasting pan (being careful not to splash any water into the creme brulee ramekins), and carefully place the cake or roasting pan in the oven.
  9. Cook the custards for 45 to 55 minutes, until the edges are set and the center jiggles just slightly when gently shaken.
  10. Remove the custards from the water bath and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
  11. Remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before browning and serving.
  12. To brown, sprinkle about a teaspoon of sugar across the top of each ramekin. Use a kitchen torch to melt the sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Attention: Propane/butane gas torches are highly flammable and should be kept away from heat, open flame and prolonged exposure to sunlight. They should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Follow torch manufacturer's instructions for use.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 408Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 210mgSodium: 92mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0gSugar: 28gProtein: 7g

I am not a certified nutritionist. This nutrition information is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only.

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Coleen

Sunday 4th of October 2020

The ramekins I used when making this recipe were 4-ounces in size, so you can use the same recommendations that are in the recipe.

JP

Saturday 3rd of October 2020

This looks delicious! My ramekins are 4 ounce size. Thoughts appreciated on how long to cook for? Same temperature? Thanks for your help and can't wait to try this!

MB

Thursday 24th of September 2020

How is the cream divided? I don’t see the amounts. Looks delicious.

Coleen

Friday 25th of September 2020

Sorry about that, it's 1 cup in Step 1, 1 cup in Step 2.

Wendy Klik

Friday 8th of November 2019

Love creme brulee and I'm sure the tartness of the cranberries were amazing with the sweet creaminess of the custard.

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