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Chef Jeff: An elegant Cranberry Crème Brulee

Chef Jeff

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Chef Jeff presents Cranberry Crème Brulee — an elegant creamy dessert perfect for the holidays. Fancy but simple to make.


For the custard:

  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 qt. heavy cream
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¼ c. superfine sugar
  • 2 qts boiling water

For the cranberry sauce:

  • 1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange juiced and zested (reserve some zest for garnish)
  • 1 c. granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries, orange juice and zest, and sugar. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 7 to 10 minutes or until it starts to slightly thicken. Cool.
  2. For the custard, in a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream and salt until small bubbles start to form around the edges. Do not boil. While the cream is heating, in a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla with a whisk. Whisk until the mixture turns a pale yellow, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the cream from the heat.
  3. Temper the mixture by adding a small amount of the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Add a little more, then eventually all of it. This keeps the eggs from coagulating and forming lumps.
  4. Put 8 ramekins into a deep baking dish and put 2 tbsp of the cranberry sauce in the bottom of each ramekin. Carefully pour the custard into each ramekin until about ½ inch from the top.
  5. Move the dish to the oven then using a pitcher, pour the boiling water into the dish around the ramekins about ½ way up the sides. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until the top of the custard sets. It should not brown much. Remove from the oven and completely cool.
  6. When ready to serve, sprinkle each custard with the fine sugar just to coat. Using a culinary or other type blow torch, burn the sugar until it browns and bubbles. Once the sugar hardens, garnish with a tbsp. of cranberry sauce and orange zest.

Chef Jeff Jackson is the corporate chef for Smith’s Food & Drug Stores. Jeff appears on weekly television cooking segment on various TV stations in Salt Lake City and east Idaho.

He has always loved cooking since he was very young and graduated with high honors from the SLC Art Institutes in Culinary Arts. He has worked as the lead chef and nutrition specialists at Intermountain Medical Center, as a chef at The Montage Deer Valley signature restaurant, and enjoys catering private and corporation gatherings.

Chef Jeff seeks to teach his viewers how to make simple dishes that look gourmet and will have your entire family looking forward to eating dinner together. Watch for his exciting recipes every Wednesday on