Meyer Lemon Creme Brulee

This Meyer Lemon Creme Brulee will become a favorite.

Meyer Lemon Creme Brûlée Recipe

I always find it a welcome surprise when Meyer lemons pop up in the grocery store this time of the year. They seem so out of place during the bleak mid-winter, but I do appreciate them. They’re cheery, a reminder of summer, and a hope of warmer days to come.

Meyer lemons are hard to pass up, so I always buy several with big plans on how to use their fresh, perky flavor. I tend to let them linger as long as I can, as a bright spot in our kitchen, grabbing one as I pass by to take a whiff for a little pick me up, a bit of aromatherapy if you will.

meyer lemons

This year they first found their way into crème brûlée. I have to admit, a well proportioned, quality vanilla crème brûlée is pretty hard to beat in my book, but the subtlety of the Meyer lemon addition was just enough without being distracting or overwhelming, like many lemon desserts can often times be.

Although it has a fancy reputation, crème brûlée is pretty simple when you break it down. Plus the beauty of crème brûlée is that it can be made well ahead of serving time, and then “flamed,” as my kids like to call it, before serving. Perfect for a party I’d say. (Or maybe just a plain old day too?)

Do you have any favorite recipes using Meyer lemons, or other crème brûlée flavors you enjoy? Do share!

Note: The recipe I’m sharing is the basic crème brûlée recipe that I make with a bit of Meyer lemon zest added, so if you’re in the mood for plain vanilla, just leave out the zest. No other changes will be necessary.

Also, as far as sugars for the crispy crème brûlée top, I’ve used demerara, regular granulated sugar, and caster (superfine) sugar. All will work, but I prefer a good layer of the caster sugar. I’ve found it melts quicker and more evenly. But caster sugar can be hard to find, so another option, if you’d like to try the finer sugar, is to pulse regular granulated sugar in a food processor a few times, not until it’s powdered sugar, but finer than regular granulated sugar.

how to make creme brulee

Meyer Lemon Creme Brulee
The classic creme brulee with a meyer lemon twist.
Serves: Makes 6 servings.
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1½ teaspoon good vanilla (I like to use Pure Vanilla Bean Paste.)
  • 2½ cups heavy cream
  • zest from 2 Meyer lemons, about 1 teaspoon
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • hot water enough for water bath
  • 6 tablespoons superfine sugar (caster sugar) (granulated, turbinado or demerara will work too)
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place 6 ramekins (about 6 ounces each) onto a roasting pan, baking pan, or rimmed baking sheet.
  2. If using a vanilla bean, split it in half and scrape the seeds out with a knife. Add vanilla bean and seeds (or vanilla/vanilla paste), to a saucepan along with the cream and Meyer lemon zest. Slowly warm cream mixture over medium heat, just until foam begins to form around edge. Remove from heat, and let mingle for about 10-15 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until it begins to lighten in color and slightly thicken.
  4. Strain the cream mixture at this time.
  5. While continuing to stir, very gradually add the cream mixture into the egg/sugar mixture until all is combined to create the custard base. Work slowly to avoid cooking the eggs.
  6. Pour equal amounts of custard mixture into the ramekins. Transfer baking pan (with filled ramekins) to oven and pour enough hot water into baking pan to come to halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake until custard is set, but still a little jiggly in the center, anywhere from 35-45 minutes, remove from oven, let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
  7. When ready to serve, evenly spread the superfine sugar over tops of custards. Using a torch, carefully melt the sugar until golden brown. Let cool until sugar hardens and enjoy!


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  1. 2

    Living The Sweet Life says

    Meyer lemons are perfect this time of year – – not as tart and so versatile. This is such a delicious recipe. That golden crust on a Creme Brulee always steals the show in my books :)

  2. 3

    Lu says

    I have a veritable bonanza of a Meyer Lemon crop on my own tree right now. I love the subtle lemony flavor and the fragrance just can’t be beat! I will need to try this recipe’ tout suite’.

  3. 5


    What a wonderful creation! I always get Meyer Lemons on hand and Creme Brulee is one of my favorite dessert. Gotta try your recipe soon. What a delightful and refreshing treat! :)

  4. 7


    uhh… YES! Please!

    I love anything lemon….and one of my fav desserts is Creme Brulee! I don’t think there could be a better flavor mash up! :-)

  5. 11

    Robyn | Add a Pinch says

    Creme Brûlée is my favorite and this looks like perfection!!! I make a pumpkin creme brûlée in the fall and now need to make this for the spring!!!!

  6. 15

    Bev Weidner says

    I LOOOOOVE creme brulee. And I love to crack it with a spoon just like Amelie. And then pretend I’m French.

  7. 18


    Wow , this must taste incredible! I have never tried creme brulee with Meyer lemon. It’s unusual but so refreshing. Would love to try this out. I am in love with your photographs. Just brilliant!!!

  8. 20


    I’d love some now for breakfast. Love Meyer lemons! I have a tree in my dining room and “hope” it bears fruit this year! xo

  9. 23

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says

    This sounds wonderfully delicious! I’m glad you mentioned the “strength” of this dish. I don’t like things overly lemony but a light touch of lemon is soooo gooood!

  10. 24


    Oh, Amy! I love, love, love Meyer Lemons!!! I so hope they are in my grocery store soon! I got a Sur La Table gift card for Christmas and was *just* telling my hubby that I might use it on a torch. I think you’ve just cemented that decision!

  11. 27

    Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen says

    Oh Lord…you’ve really done it. This is just over the top for me. I love Meyer lemons so much that I got a Meyer lemon tree for Mother’s Day last year and creme brulee??? Help me.

  12. 29

    Kristen says

    This is about the most sunshiney dessert I’ve seen in awhile. Some of my favorite things – lemons, creme brulee & sunshine!

  13. 30

    Jocelyn Wolf says

    mmm I love orange Creme Brulee. I love to even put a little zest in with the sugar on top to give it a little extra different flavor!

    • 36


      Oh Sylvie!
      I’m so jealous. I wish I had a tree! If we were neighbors, you could bring the Meyer’s and I’d make you brulee.

  14. 38

    Jennifer says

    I just purchased a bag of meyer lemons this week. This looks so delicious and lovely. I think it might even make its way to my table this weekend.

  15. 42

    Zee says

    I have never had creme brulee but I think I will make this one to see how it actually tastes.. have herd alot about it.. I hope I can get hold on a torch before this weekend!

  16. 47

    jess white @athriftyfoodie says

    Oooo this looks like a creme brulee i would love! Im not too fond of the dish, but with the lemon i bet it would be lovely.

  17. 50

    Rosie @ Sweetapolita says

    Amy, this rocks my little world! I don’t make creme brulee, or at least not yet, and it’s been on my mind all winter. I’m also a huge Meyer lemon fan, which makes this even more glorious. Your photos are gorgeous–I love the simplicity of them, yet all I want to do is climb inside and be one with your brulee. I *will* be making this. Thanks for sharing!

  18. 52

    happyzhangbo-lovingfood says

    Love it! The photo is so beautiful, and the creme brulee looks delicious. I’m wondering if I can use whole milk instead of heavy cream to reduce the fat a bit. I think it definitely will not taste as rich as this version, but still be divine. Thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe and photo :)

  19. 54

    Wenderly says

    Just *looking* at this gives me a sunny disposition! I can only imagine what It will do once I taste it! What a loverly dessert. xo

  20. 55

    Tracey @ The Kitchen is My Playground says

    Just beautiful, Amy! I adore creme brulee … and using a kitchen torch (my husband says I like the torch a little TOO much!). You just gave me another great reason to get the ol’ torch out! Thanks so much for sharing.

  21. 58

    Mari @ Mari's Cakes says

    Your creme brulee looks wonderful. I like the lemon zest in it, it’s something I will definitely be trying. Thanks!

  22. 59

    Monika says

    Oh my god, I can smell this. I have been on a MAJOR lemon kick, so this is perfect for me. I’m off to get a blowtorch.

  23. 60

    Ally says

    Hey! I LOVE your site! And. This sounds amazing! Question though! I don’t have a torch… 😉 Is there any way to crisp up the top without a torch?

    • 61


      Hey Ally!

      There sure is. Many people use an oven on broil to do the “crisping” up top. I’m sure with a quick search you can find a suggested time, but whatever it is, be sure to keep a watchful eye because it will probably melt quickly.


  24. 62


    I modified this to make a Blood Orange Creme Brulee and it worked wonderfully. I used ground vanilla from Williams-Sonoma, and I also added the juice from two of the blood oranges. Super tasty!

  25. 63

    RecipeNewZ says

    I found this post though Pinterest. The photo was so beautiful that I just had to come here to read the recipe! Love it! And love your site :-).

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and your other posts :-) ) on a new photo based recipe sharing site that launched in May. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author’s site.

    It’s called RecipeNewZ (with Z) –

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board :-)

  26. 65

    Wendy says

    I can’t wait to try this! That top photo is fantastic! I can taste the creamy lemon flavor just looking at it. Wow.

  27. 67


    Your dish looks spectacular! the upper crust is so crunchy, Can’t wait to give it a try. :)

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