When did summers become so busy?
I mean just two seconds ago summers were the laziest of days. Waking up just in time to still be able to say, “Good morning,” laying at the pool with trashy magazines, setting up lemonade stands (and then eventually just making lemonade as a vehicle for vodka), etc.
This summer however has been crazy busy all the time. And I’m really not complaining, most of it has been fun: bowling league, book club, travel, travel and more travel—all good things. Last week, I even took a vacation. Read that one more time, but slower: vaaaacaaaatiooooon. What a beautiful thing. It was a working vacation, but a vacation none-the-less.
I was sent to cover a story back in my home state of Iowa. I went on RAGBRAI with a group of some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. I was only with them for about 48 hours, but I feel like I know them all so well. I guess that’s what happens when you spend 48 hours cycling many miles, talking about sore butts, sleeping on a gym floor and not showering with a group of strangers—they don’t stay strangers long. And while I was so sad to leave them after I got all my photos and interviews, I was really happy to go get some of that classic, lazy-day summertime at my dad’s house.
We’re talking pitchers of sangria; the best dang margaritas I’ve ever had (should I post the recipe?); long walks into the cute, small, storybook Iowa town I grew up in; sitting on the coffee shop’s patio and watching the bells ring (I know); and all the best foods on the grill. Ah. Much needed relaxation time, and guess what? I still have one more vacay before the summer is complete. Sweet, sweet summertime.
The only thing I was missing last week was that lemonade stand. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking a Lemon Creme Brulee stand would have been even better. You just knew I couldn’t let the blog go more than five posts without a new creme brulee recipe, didn’t you? What can I say? It’s my dessert jam. And since I’ve been (trying to be) so good about slashing my sugar intake lately, creme brulee is all I can think about come cheat day. This one is particularly smooth, refreshing and summery. So who’s starting the stand with me? We still have a month to make some extra pool-concession cash!
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup honey
- Sugar for topping
- Bring the cream, lemon zest and juice and vanilla to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat (give this a good whisking throughout to prevent scorching). Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Beat the egg yolks with the honey until combined and just a bit frothy. Slowly add the cream (most of the zest will have sunk to the bottom of the pan and won't get into the egg mixture. You can strain the cream through a mesh sieve first if you prefer a creme with no zest, however I like to leave a little in for extra flavor—totally up to you!), whisking continuously.
- Pour the mixture into 2 8-ounce ramekins.
- Place the ramekins in a water bath (place the ramekins in a pan and fill the pan with water so the water level reaches halfway up the ramekins). Bake for 45–50 minutes, until mostly set but still a little jiggly.
- Remove the ramekins from the water bath and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
- Just before serving, add about a teaspoon of white granulated sugar to the top of each creme and shake it around or spread evenly. Then using a culinary torch (read the instructions and warnings on your torch first) on high, burn the sugar into a crisp crust. Serve immediately.