National Crème Brûlée Day Date in the current year: July 27, 2024

National Crème Brûlée Day Crème brûlée is one of the most popular and recognizable desserts of French cuisine. It is beloved in many countries, including the United States, so it is not surprising that Americans even celebrate National Crème Brûlée Day on July 27.

Crème brûlée, also known as burnt cream, Cambridge burnt cream, or Trinity cream, is a French dessert that consists of a custard base topped with a layer of caramelized sugar. The crispy sugar crust provides a nice contrast to the richness and decadence of the vanilla-flavored custard.

Crème brûlée is believed to have been inspired by crema catalana, a similar dessert that originated in Catalonia around the 14th century. The two desserts are practically identical, but there are a few subtle differences. Crema catalana is made with milk and typically flavored with lemon zest and cinnamon, whereas classic crème brûlée is made with cream and flavored with vanilla.

The earliest known crème brûlée recipe can be found in Le cuisinier roïal et bourgeois, a 1691 cookbook authored by French chef François Massialot (by comparison, the first known crema catalana recipe is dated 1324). The name burnt cream was first used in the English translation of Massialot’s book published in 1702. The name Trinity cream originated in the University of Cambridge in 1879, where the dessert was served at Trinity College.

Despite its long history, crème brûlée remained relatively uncommon until the second half of the 20th century. The person credited with popularizing crème brûlée across the world is Sirio Maccioni, an Italian restaurateur who served the dessert at his Manhattan restaurant Le Cirque.

Crème brûlée is typically cooked and served in individual ramekins. The custard base consists of cream, egg or egg yolks, and sugar. It is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but can have other flavorings such as chocolate, coffee, coconut, honey, and even lavender.

The custard can be made using the “hot” method, where the ingredients are whisked together in a bain-marie, or the “cold” method, where the ingredients are whisked together at room temperature, then poured into ramekins and baked in a double boiler. The “hot” method is more common.

There are two methods for creating the caramel crust as well. The easier one involves preparing caramel discs separately and putting them on top of the custard before serving, but it is a lazy way out. Traditional crème brûlée recipes call for sprinkling sugar onto the custard and caramelizing it using a butane torch or a cooking appliance called a salamander (a type of culinary grill).

The origin of National Crème Brûlée Day is unclear but when has this ever stopped anyone from celebrating? Observe the holiday by indulging in delicious crème brûlée at your favorite restaurant or making the dessert yourself. If you go with the latter option, make sure to follow the recipe precisely because this is not the case where you can improvise, especially if you don’t have much experience with making crème brûlée. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday with the hashtag #NationalCremeBruleeDay.

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National Crème Brûlée Day, observances in the United States, unofficial holidays, food days, French cuisine