This Instant Pot crème brûlée is AMAZING! You can’t even tell that it is naturally sweetened and has a reduced sugar content!
I never used to have much of a sweet tooth, but somewhere around my second or third pregnancy, I definitely developed one. I LOVE dessert.
Of course, we all know that too much sugar isn’t good for you, and I generally try to avoid giving my children things to make them more energetic than they already are (for the love! stop acting crazy or go outside!), which is why in the past few years I have been really intentional to work towards cutting back all our sugar intake.
Barely sweetened tea, muffins and quick breads sweetened with fruits or natural sweeteners, and cakes and cookies made with significantly less sugar. Smaller portions, and treats kept as just that– an occasional indulgence.
(Ok. I admit. Sometimes it’s more than occasional. Blame it on the pregnancy or life of a food blogger. We are all a work in progress, right???)
So when I thought of adapting one of my favorite desserts for the Instant Pot, I knew that I really wanted to try to cut out as much sugar as possible to transform it into a healthier version for our family, and for yours too.
Healthier for three reasons:
- Smaller portions
- Naturally sweetened custard
- Reduced sugar in the caramelized crust
You’ll notice the sugar isn’t completely gone. The custard itself is sweetened with maple syrup, a natural sweetener and less of it than what other recipes call for of processed sugar. But the classic, hard caramelized topping to the crème brûlée is still made with granulated sugar.
I looked into other options, referencing this great cookbook, and searching the interwebs for how natural sweeteners would work. But what I found wasn’t very promising, so I opted instead to simply reduce the amount of overall sugar in the topping.
If you prefer to completely avoid the granulated sugar, you can try an alternative. Just be careful because natural, unrefined sugars tend to burn more quickly. Of course, another option is just to leave off the hard topping. It won’t be the classic crème brûlée, but the custard is so amazing you may not miss it too much.
The last thing to note is the size of the portions. I used 4-ounce ramekins, making six individual portions. We have had our share of this crème brûlée, and shared it with friends, too. The serving size was just right. A delicious indulgence without leaving you feeling like you’ve overeaten.
I ordered the ramekins off Amazon, in part because I had trouble finding the smaller size in a store. They were a great price, and I can easily fit all six into my Instant Pot. I’m thinking this means trying for individual cheesecakes next…
If you want to make a larger portion, or already have 6-ounce ramekins at home, simply increase the cooking time by a minute. (And don’t skip the 10 minute natural release!).
What you’ll need:
<<< watch the short video on making Healthier Instant Pot Crème Brûlée >>>
Healthier Instant Pot Crème Brûlée
smaller portions || naturally sweetened || reduced sugar
Healthier Instant Pot Crème Brûlée
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- Category: dessert
- 1 1/2 C heavy cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 C maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- sugar* for topping
- Whisk together all ingredients, except the sugar. Whisk until smooth and completely blended. Pour into six 4oz ramekins and cover each with a small piece of foil.
- Place a trivet in the Instant Pot and pour in 1 C of water. Place the ramekins in the Instant Pot on top of the trivet– 3 on the trivet, then 3 stacked on top of the first 3 ramekins. Cover and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the cook time is complete, let the Instant Pot naturally release pressure for ten minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure (there won’t be much). Use a potholder to carefully remove the ramekins from the Instant Pot. Discard the foil and refrigerate the crème brûlée for at least 2 hours.
- After the custard is set, take the ramekins out of the refrigerator. Sprinkle the tops of each crème brûlée with 1 teaspoon of sugar and use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar so that it forms a crispy, browned crust over the custard. Refrigerate or serve immediately.
*The quickest sugar to use is regular granulated sugar. Superfine sugar is often recommended for the best crust, and unrefined sugar are cautioned against because they tend to burn more quickly. I used organic granulated sugar with great results.
Two more naturally sweetened Instant Pot desserts to try:
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