Molasses Crème Brûlée

Melissa Close Hart

Palladio Restaurant at Barboursville Vineyards Barboursville, VA

Melissa Close Hart recommends serving this rich crème brûlée with fruit or cookies.


  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • Scant 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for the brûlée
  • 8 egg yolks
  • Scant 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Fill a teakettle with water and bring to a boil while you prepare the custard.

Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the sugar. Rub the seeds with your fingers to help separate and distribute them throughout the sugar. Add the egg yolks and molasses; mix until combined. (Do not whip.)

In a medium sauce pot, heat the cream just until boiling. Slowly pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Add the salt and stir until combined.

Place eight 4-ounce ramekins in a large baking dish. Fill each ramekin with custard. Add enough hot water from the teakettle to reach three quarters of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or just until the custards are set. They should jiggle slightly when gently shaken.

Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool slightly. Refrigerate until completely cool. (The custards can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored for 4 to 5 days.)

Before serving, sprinkle each custard with granulated sugar and brûlée with a blowtorch or under the broiler.


8 servings