Pecorino Crème Brulee with Caramelized Balsamic Sugar

By: Marge Perry & David Bonom

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Course: Appetizer


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces fresh grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place 4 (4-ounce) ramekins in a Anolon® roasting pan. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat; remove from the heat.
  2. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the cheese and cook, stirring, until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Lightly beat the egg yolk sin a medium bowl. Whisk a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, then whisk in the remaining cream in 2 additions. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins. Pour just enough of the hot water into the roasting pan to come 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins.
  3. Bake the custards until they are just set (they should slightly jiggle in the center), about 21-22 minutes. Remove from the oven then use a wide spatula to transfer the ramekins to a heatproof surface.
  4. Combine the sugar, vinegar and salt in a bowl; mixing until the vinegar is evenly distributed. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the 4 custards.
  5. Working with one custard at a time, move the crème brulee torch in a circular motion about 2-inches above the surface until the sugar melts and browns, about 1-2 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.