Buttered Popcorn Crème Brûlée

1 cup heavy cream

¾ cup milk

4 cups popped buttered popcorn

6 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Extra sugar for caramelizing

Extra popcorn, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil a kettle of water. Place heavy cream in a medium pot and bring to a very low simmer. Turn heat off, add the buttered popcorn and stir to saturate the kernels. Allow the cream mixture to steep with the popcorn for 10 to 15 minutes; strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a small pitcher, pressing the solids with the back of a spoon to release as much of the liquid as possible. Place the egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and whip with a whisk until the mixture is pale in color. Dribble in a little of the warm popcorn infused cream mixture into the egg mixture, whisking, to temper the egg yolks. Add eg yolks mixture to the hot cream mixture, slowly, while whisking, until completely incorporated. Place four 6-ounce ramekins in a baking dish and pour the custard mixture into the ramekins, dividing the mixture equally. Place the baking dish with the ramekins in the preheated oven and carefully pour hot water into the baking dish, allowing it to come about an inch up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the custards are set around the edges but still jiggly in the centers. Cool completely in the refrigerator. To serve, sprinkle the tops with sugar and brulee with a torch or under the broiler until brown and caramelized. Top with a few pieces of buttered popcorn before serving. Serves 4.

The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of three cookbooks, Celebrate Beaufort, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon. For more great recipes and to view her cooking demonstrations, visit and subscribe to Debbi’s YouTube channel. Debbi’s website address is www.cateringbydebbicovington.com. She may be reached at 843-525-0350 or by email at dbc@cateringbydebbicovington.com.