This creamy custard with that always-exciting burnt sugar top is surprisingly simple to make. I love serving it when I have dinner guests, and I let everyone brulee their own custards with my little kitchen torch… now who does’t like wielding a torch?
Classic Crème Brulee
3 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, or 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
¼ cup sugar, plus extra for topping
6 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350.
Pour the heavy cream into a medium sized saucepan. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds out into the cream, and toss in pieces of pod. Heat over medium heat until hot but not boiling, about five minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar.
Remove the cream mixture from heat, and extract the pod pieces.
In a slow steady stream pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the egg will not start to cook. If you notice small scrambled egg like chunks forming, simply pour the mixture through a fine sieve.
Divide the mixture between 6 ramekins, and place in a deep baking dish.
Pour hot water around the ramekins so that they are ¾ submerged.
Bake until custard is almost firm and a skin forms on the top, about 40 minutes.
Allow to chill at least 6 hours.
Before serving, sprinkle each custard with about 1 Tbs. of sugar, and burn with a kitchen torch in a circular motion, until a thick brown crust forms. If you do not have a kitchen torch, place the ramekins on a baking sheet under the broiler for about five minutes Serve immediately.