It's a basic fact that no one dislikes creme brulee and that a great many people swoon at just the thought of their spoons cracking through the hardened crackly sugar crust to the smooth custard underneath.
It is also a basic fact that this relatively simple dessert intimidates many cooks. Maybe it's the whole custard thing or maybe it is the fire thing -- kitchen torch, broiler or old-fashioned salamander -- needed to create the sugar crust.
For me it was the time thing -- I was making a complex meal in just a few hours and needed a showstoppingly easy dessert. This is what I found -- frozen creme brulees in wonderful earthenware crocks in my local supermarket. The desserts came boxed two to a package for $5.79 each. Did I mention they came in wonderful, reusable earthernware dishes?
They were incredibly easy to defrost and serve and were creamy and delicious. I couldn't believe I found these in my relatively small Safeway supermarket. The product is made in France and the first ingredient is creme fraiche. Trust me, this is a wonderful product and an official Blog Appetit recommendation. My only qualm is that it was so good and the amount of product in each crock was such a sensible portion that I was left wanting more.
I served them after a Vietnamese meal with small scoops of light-purple taro ice cream on top. The creme brulees would also compliment a Spanish menu in addition to any French meal.
Safeway Select Creme Brulees, 8.76 ounces per package, two servings per package. $5.79. Also available on-line at Safeway's website in areas with delivery service.
I have seen a similar product at Trader Joe's, but I haven't tried it. If you have, let me know.
Desserts Creme Brulee