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French Lemon Custard Creme Brulee recipe

A snapshot of the Hub-UK
menu in December 2000
Hub-UK first came into existence back in May 2000. Seems a long time ago now!

Back then the internet was a very different place with much more of an amateur feel to it. In a lot of ways it was a pleasanter and more friendly place to hang out. For those of us interested in food and cooking it was a great opportunity to chat and share ideas with people living in other parts of the world.

It was also a time when everyone involved in cooking, whether they were just a keen amateur, a busy mum, a grandmother with a lifetime of kitchen experience or a professional chef just starting a career in the kitchen or one who was an old hand working at the stove, was happy to share recipes so others could enjoy them.

A lot of the details of who contributed what have either become blurred or disappeared over the years but the recipes are still worthwhile either in their own right or for the inspiration they might give.

This recipe was from a posting to one of the Recipe Groups at


6 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice finely-grated zest of 2 lemons
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated white sugar (for the caramelised tops)
lemon peel for garnish, or Candied Lemon Zest

Candied Lemon Zest:
3 or 4 lemons
1 1/2 cups water, divided
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • In a large bowl, combine yolks, eggs, and sugar. Whisk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, zest, and cream. Allow oils from the zest to seep into the custard mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes. Strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles.
  • Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard cups. Place in a water bath and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small, hand-held torch to melt sugar. If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler until sugar melts. Re-chill custards for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with thin strips of fresh lemon peel, or Candied Lemon Zest.

Candied Lemon Zest:

  • With a sharp paring knife, cut the peel of 3 or 4 lemons in the size or shape you desire. Combine with 1 cup of the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the peel is soft, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain the water and, when the peel has cooled, carefully scrape off any white pith with a spoon; only the yellow-colored zest should remain.
  • Combine the lemon peel, sugar, remaining water, and light corn syrup in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture is clear and registers 230F on a candy thermometer. Drain and set aside until ready to use.

Serves 6

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