We recently had a night out at a restaurant where they offered one of our favorite desserts, creme brulee. The combination of smooth creamy custard and the hot caramelized sugar crust on the top makes for an elegant delicious dessert. Its one of those desserts that makes you look like an amazing cook, but the secret about creme brulee is that it is quite easy to make! With the flavor of creme brulee freshly in our minds, we decided that maybe we should do what we do best (add booze to stuff!) and make an Apple Cider Brandy Creme Brulee!
We have been on a real fall kick the last few weeks, inspired by the colorful leaves, crisp cool days and a trip to our local apple orchard. At the orchard we had the chance to sample some of their freshly pressed ciders, wines and a huge assortment of products made from the fruits grown on the orchards. I was talking to one of the cider pressman and he mentioned that a number of their apples were sent off to a distiller who used them to make apple brandy. All the fun apple products gave us a lot of inspiration for making some great apple based drinks and treats!
We wanted to make a seasonal fall creme brulee, and with everything pumpkin being overdone, we decided that we wanted to go with a little more traditional fall flavor, apple! One of the easiest ways in infuse apple flavor is to use apple cider. We used the apple cider we got at our local orchard and mixed that in with our custard base, adding a tart apple flavor to the creamy custard.
As we mentioned earlier, its kind of our thing to find ways to add a little boozy kick to dishes, so we decided that a worthy partner to the apple cider would be some apple brandy. We had a bottle of Cedar Ridge Apple Brandy, a brandy made from Midwestern apples and distilled in Iowa. Made from apple cider that was allowed to ferment, then distilled and aged in oak barrels like the traditional French apple brandy, Calvados. Aging in oak gives this brandy a hint of vanilla while still having a strong apple flavor.
The apple brandy brings a nice boozy edge and helps cut the richness of the custard while complimenting the crisp crunchy caramelized sugar in the brulee’ed top. The creamy custard is full of smooth vanilla, tart apple cider and brandy. The bruleed top adds a sweet toasted caramel flavor that nicely contrasts the cool custard, making each bite different from the last. Our Apple Cider Brandy Creme Brulee was a nice fall dessert that would be great for making you look like a great chef! Cheers!
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 2 Tbsp apple brandy (or bourbon or whiskey)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Additional 2-4 Tbsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.
- Heat cream in small saucepan until it just begins to simmer.
- Slowly add cream to egg mixture, whisking the whole time. Stir in cider, brandy and vanilla.
- Transfer mixture to a container you can pour from, and transfer to ramekins. Place ramekins in a baking dish, and fill with hot water until the water is 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake 40-45 minutes or until barely set in the middle. Cool.
- Transfer to refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, top with 1/2 to 1 Tbsp sugar and brulee with a hand torch or under the broiler. Serve immediately.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin