Vanilla Creme Brûlée
This recipe from NY Times
My dad LOVES Creme Brûlée so for his 86th birthday I decided to try my hand at making it. I have made custard pies, caramel custards and flans before so I figured I wouldn’t have a hard time. This was easy peasy. And, it turned out great. Needless to say, my dad was thrilled. This recipe makes 4 generous servings so if you want to divide it into smaller ramekins that would be OK. You might have to adjust your baking time a little. Enjoy.
2 cups heavy or light cream, or half and half (I used heavy cream, I figured my dad deserved the whole enchilada for this 86th birthday.
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 tsp. Vanilla extract (I used the extract)
1/8 tsp salt
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, more for topping
Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a saucepan, combine cream, vanilla bean (do not add extract yet if using) and salt and cook over low heat just until hot. Let sit for a few minutes, then discard the vanilla bean (or add the vanilla extract if using).
In a bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar together until light. Store about a quarter of the cream into this mixture, then pour sugar-egg mixture into cream and stir. Pour into four 6-ounce ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish; fill baking dish with boiling water halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 30-40 minutes (I needed 45 minutes) or until centers are barely set. To check slide a knife into the center, it should come with a very thin, barely-there coating on the knife. Cool completely. Refrigerate for several hours and up to a couple days. When chilling take some plastic wrap and put it directly onto the top of the custard when you refrigerate to keep a skin from forming on top. Refrigerate for several hours and up to a couple of days.
When ready to serve, top each custard with about a teaspoon of sugar in a thin layer. Place ramekins in a broiler 2 to 3 inches from the heat source. Turn on broiler. Cook until sugar melts and browns or even blackens a bit. About 5 minutes. Serve within two hours.