Lemon Grass Crème Brlée

Makes 4 servings

Long a specialty of upscale restaurants, crème brlée is easy to prepare at home — although you’ll need a kitchen blowtorch (available at cookware and hardware stores) to caramelize the tops of the custards after they are baked. You can also run them under a preheated broiler, but it’s not as reliable as using a torch. This adaptation is unique to Trader Vic’s new Portland outpost.


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, root trimmed, with the toughest outer leaves removed. Bruise with the handle of a large knife, then coarsely chop the bottom 5 to 6 inches of stalks
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more sugar for caramelizing


In a small saucepan, bring cream, ginger, and lemongrass to a simmer (do not boil) for 10 to 15 minutes, until sugar is fully dissolved and the cream has a nice lemongrass and ginger flavor.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together until creamy. Remove cream mixture from heat and whisk a third of mixture slowly into the egg yolks. Add yolk mixture to cream mixture and return to heat to simmer until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Strain to remove ginger and lemon grass. Place a pan of four 6-ounce custard ramekins on the stove and fill them with custard mixture. Place pan on middle rack of oven and pour in enough warm water to come about halfway up sides of cups. Bake custards for about 40 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from oven and use a large spatula to remove custard cups from water bath. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes, then refrigerate them covered until ready to caramelize.

Sprinkle each custard with a tablespoon or two of sugar, spreading it evenly. Use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar to a golden brown, moving the flame in a series of arcs to avoid leaving it in one place too long and burning the sugar. Serve within several hours.




Total Fat 38.7 g

Sat. Fat 22.6 g

Cholest. 384.5 mg

Sodium 44 mg

Total Carb. 40.7 g

Protein 5.2 g

Fiber 0.0 g