This recipe is from the Vanilla and Vinegar episode of A is for Apple, hosted by Lauren Gulyas.
- 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
- 2 cups (500 ml) 35% cream
- ½ a whole fresh vanilla bean
- 7 egg yolks, room temperature
- ½ cup (125 ml) white sugar
- Extra sugar (for sugar topping)
- 6 (1 cup) ramekins
- Special equipment – mini blow torch
- Preheat oven to 275°F (135°C).
- In a medium sauce pan set over low heat place the milk, 35% cream and the scraped vanilla bean with the empty pod.
- Bring mixture to a gentle simmer for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat.
- Allow the mixture to sit 10 minutes to infuse the vanilla.
- Place the yolks and sugar in a bowl and gently whisk to combine.
- Using a cup measure add a little at a time some of the warm cream to the egg yolk mixture. This will slowly temper the 2 liquids together without cooking the eggs. Add the remaining warm cream and whisk until well combined.
- Strain the mixture through a cheese cloth and place in the refrigerator overnight or until cool.
- Prepare poaching bath for cooking.
- Place the ramekins in an oven proof tray deep enough for the poaching water to cover the ramekin ¾ of the way up with water.
- Pour the crème brûlée mixture into a large measure cup with a spout for easy pouring.
- Pour cream equally to fill the 6 ramekins.
- Pour warm water into the pan making sure the water comes to ¾ of the way up the sides of the dishes.
- Carefully place in the oven and cook without disturbing for 1 ½ -2 hours.
- The custard is set when it is just slightly jiggly in the center. Remove and let cool in the warm water bath.
- Refrigerate uncovered until cool. Once cool cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
- Right before you are ready to serve sprinkle about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of sugar on top. Shake the sugar with a gentle back and forth motion to achieve an even layer of sugar.
- Light the blow torch and set to medium torch. Keep the torch about 2 inches (5 cm) away from the sugar. Using a sweeping motion caramelize the sugar to golden brown.
- Work quickly; as a rule a good crème brûlée has a delicate crack of golden brown sugar and the custard is cold.
- Serve immediately.