Big Sur has lived in my heart for many, many years now.
I suppose there are some of us, like me, that feel
a homecoming every time we cross Bixby Bridge..
I first spotted Deetjens while walking up from Esalen to
Nepenthe, it called to me and I returned again and again.
There are many thing fine things there.. signs, wonders, words left by others and
a kind peopled place hand crafted
by Helmut. They also have the best Crème brûlée in the world.
Deetjen’s Crème Brûlée
7 cups heavy cream
12 oz. granulated sugar
24 egg yolks
2 vanilla beans split
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
Granulated sugar for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Blend cream, sugar and vanilla beans in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat to simmer taking care not to boil the cream. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla extract.
Fill oven safe cups with the mixture and bake for 40 – 45 minutes.
Let the cups cool to room temperature and then place them in the refrigerator until cold.
Before service (this is the fun part!) sprinkle the tops of the baked custard with sugar and melt the sugar with a hand torch until it carmelizes and form a classic brulee burnt top.
I spent a very pleasant Thanksgiving armchair travelling back to Deetjen’s via Anita Allen’s most excellent book, Big Sur Inn, The Deetjen Legacy