Recipe: Crème Brulée

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Crème Brulée

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split
additional sugar for sprinkling

Prepare the oven.

Place rack in the center.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Place six 3/4-cup ramekins in rectangular pan, like a Pyrex casserole or lasagna pan.

Mix cream and sugar in heavy medium saucepan.

Using small sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean. Add seeds and bean to saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a slight simmer.

Remove vanilla bean.

Whisk yolks in medium bowl until well blended. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture just to blend. Return custard to pan; divide among ramekins. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of dishes.

Carefully transfer pans to oven.

Bake custards until almost set in center when pans are gently shaken, about 35 minutes. Remove ramekins from pan. Chill at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

Now for the fun stuff!

Just before serving, sprinkle 2 teaspoons sugar evenly over each custard. Working with one custard at a time, hold blowtorch so that flame is 2 inches above surface. Direct flame so that sugar melts and browns.