I LOVE creme brulee and this is a great recipe. I don't recommend it for novice cooks, as you do need to have the right equipment to make this yummy dessert (food processor, ramekins, kitchen torch, etc.) and a few skills in the kitchen. My kids had fun helping me with a few parts of the recipe, although it is a little complicated. They especially loved watching me carmelize the sugar on top.
1/2 vanilla bean, chopped into 1/4 in. pieces
2 T. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. half and half
3 egg yolks
1/4 c. sugar
pinch of salt
Creme Brulee sugar (see below)
*Preheat oven to 325 degrees
*Pulverize vanilla bean and 2 T. sugar in a coffee grinder.
*Warm cream, half and half, and vanilla sugar in a saucepan over medium heat just until steam rises.
*Whisk yolks, egg, 1/4 c. sugar, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Temper hot cream mixture into eggs, strain into a measuring cup with a pour spout and divide among six 4oz oven-proof ramekins. Arrange dishes in a baking pan, then carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Add hot water to the pan and bake custards 35-45 min, or until just set; do not overcook.
*Remove ramekins from the water bath, cool, then wrap loosely in plastic wrap. Chill until completely cold, preferably overnight.
*Carmelize each custard before serving by burning sugar on top.
Creme Brulee Sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
Combine both sugars, then spread the mixture out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. After baking the brulees, turn off the oven and place the pan inside for an hour to dry out the sugar.
Transfer sugar to a food processor and pulverize until fine. Store in an airtight container until ready to carmelize.
1. Blot top of custards dry with a paper towel, if needed. Sprinkle 1-2 T. sugar mixture over each one; tap out any excess sugar.
2. Using a kitchen or propane torch, melt the sugar by waving the flame 4-8" from the surface.
3. Burn until surface of the custard is carmelized and no dry sugar is visible. Let stand 3-5 min. before serving.