yogurt creme brulee


The summer before I turned 15, I went on a ten-day canoe trip into the Boundary Waters, a pristine network of lakes spanning the US and Canada in northern Minnesota. One morning, I woke up earlier than the other girls on my trip. I tiptoed out of the tent and sat on one of the large, craggy rocks bordering the lake, and looked up at the early morning sky.

In those few moments, I felt completely at peace with myself. I wasn’t worried or thinking about anything—I simply existed. I was alone, yet a whole person, living entirely in that moment. I’ll never forget that feeling, and ever since then I have appreciated solitude.

I was talking to my Mom a few weeks ago, and somehow we started talking about going out to eat alone. Not just to Chipotle or Noodles, but going to a real sit-down restaurant by yourself. I realized that I had never eaten alone in my entire life.  I was going into the city the next day to take photographs for my art final, and I decided to go out to lunch all by myself. I spent the day wandering around all places of worship, from massive basilicas to neighborhood chapels. The silence resonated in the buildings, creating a beautiful atmosphere for taking pictures.

Here are some of my favorites:

After hours of taking photographs, I ventured out for my lunch alone. It was an interesting experience. I went to one of my favorite restaurants and sat at the bar. It was Sunday and they were still serving brunch, and the restaurant was full of couples and families. I made small talk with the waiter and ordered hash browns, bacon, and the inspiration for this post—yogurt creme brulee.

Eating alone gave me time to truly enjoy this amazing dish, and try to figure out how to make it myself. I’m not usually a fan of creme brulee—it’s always been too heavy and sweet for me. However, the yogurt used in this version made the creme brulee light and refreshing, the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess. When I attempted it at home, it was surprisingly easy. It only takes a few ingredients blended together in a food processor, and you have a delicious, healthier version of a classic French dessert.  Enjoy!


Yogurt Creme Brulee

(serves 4-5) 


  • 15 oz 2% plain greek yogurt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Place the ingredients into a food processor.  Process until all ingredients are blended.
3. Pour the mixture into ramekins and place inside a roasting pan.
4. Fill the pan with water so that it reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture jiggles slightly when shaken.
5. Remove from the pan and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour and a half.  When you are ready to eat them, remove from the refrigerator.
6. Sprinkle on top with sugar.  Using a torch, melt the sugar until it turns golden brown. Serve immediately.
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