This Pressure Cooker Creme Brulee is a rich, creamy custard with a brittle caramelized layer on top. This classic, elegant dessert is easy to make at home, and you can make it even easier and faster when you “bake” it in the pressure cooker.
I love this Pressure Cooker Creme Brulee (or Crème Brûlée, if we’re being fancy). It’s simple, comes together quickly, and it’s made from just SIX ingredients that I almost always have on hand.
Even though this dish is simple, it features a complex blend of textures. The rich, silky-smooth custard is a perfect contrast to the crunchy, caramelized sugar topping.
Making Creme Brulee in an Instant Pot
Desserts that require a water bath, like cheesecakes, flan, and custards, are perfect for making in the pressure cooker’s moist environment.
These creme brulees “bake” in the pressure cooker and then go right into the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Shortly before serving, you’ll need to create the caramelized crust layer on top of the custard. The key to the crust is the superfine sugar (aka “baker’s sugar”), which melts faster than normal granulated sugar. (If you don’t want to buy baker’s sugar, you can pulse regular granulated sugar in a blender to create super fine sugar.)
Most recipes call for using a kitchen torch because it gives you full control of melting and caramelizing the superfine sugar. However, you don’t have to use a kitchen torch! Up until a few years ago, when my husband gave me a kitchen torch for Christmas, I just borrowed my husband’s welding torch. (It worked great!) If you don’t have access to a torch, you can use your broiler. Place the creme brulee cups on a baking sheet and place the sheet on your oven rack so that they sit a few inches away from the broiler. Broil until the sugar is brown and caramelized, rotating the baking sheet frequently to help the cups brown evenly.
Use Quality Ingredients in Your Pressure Cooker Creme Brulee
There are only SIX ingredients in pressure cooker creme brulee, so it’s particularly important to use high quality ingredients. Use a good heavy cream and a high-quality vanilla. If you’re looking for suggestions, I really love Lágrima‘s premium artisan vanilla extract. (The tall glass bottle kind of makes me feel like I’m working in a laboratory when I use it.) It would be a wonderful gift to give for the holidays.
Creme brulee is really easy to make and looks so fancy that it’s a perfect dessert to serve guests for the holidays.
Update: This recipe is one of the most popular ones on my site, as well as in my cookbook The Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook (page 291). I wanted to make a quick video to show you how easy it is to make. If you haven’t tried it yet, I hope this video helps you be brave and go on a little food adventure!
Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Creme Brulee
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 6 tablespoons superfine sugar
Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the pressure cooking pot and place the trivet in the bottom.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs yolks, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and a pinch of salt. Add cream and vanilla and whisk until blended.
Strain into a large measuring bowl with pour spout or a pitcher. Pour mixture in to six custard cups, cover with foil, and place on trivet in pressure cooking pot. Stack the cups in a second layer. (I used a second trivet between the layers.)
Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the timer for 6 minutes. When beep sounds, turn off pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then do a quick pressure release to release any remaining pressure. When valve drops carefully remove lid.
Carefully remove the cups to a wire rack to cool uncovered. When cool, refrigerate covered with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar to cover the entire surface of each custard. Working with one at a time, move the flame of the torch 2 inches above the surface of each custard in a circular motion to melt the sugar and form a crispy, caramelized topped.