The simplicity of this recipe is what makes it taste so good. Make vanilla sugar by placing a halved vanilla bean in a few cups of sugar in an airtight container. Let rest at least a day before using for best flavor. This classic brûlée is infused with vanilla beans for flavor, but you could use other flavorings, like pistachios or lavender.
Adapted from Misto!
1 quart heavy cream
1½ vanilla beans
1 cup sugar or vanilla sugar, divided
6 egg yolks
1. Place cream in a large saucepan. Scrape seeds from the vanilla beans into the cream, then add the scraped bean shell. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover, and cool 15 minutes. Remove vanilla bean and discard or reserve for another use.
2. Preheat to 325°F. Have ready 8 (6-ounce) ramekins and a baking or roasting pan large enough to hold them.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together ½ cup of the sugar and the egg yolks until lightened in color. Slowly add cooled cream, stirring constantly. Pour mixture into the ramekins, dividing evenly.
4. Place ramekins in the large pan and fill pan with very hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until custard is set but still trembling a bit in the center, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove ramekins and place on a wire rack. Cool at room temperatures about 15 minutes, then cover each one with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
5. About 30 minutes before serving, remove custards from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar over each ramekin. Using a culinary torch, melt sugar to a golden brown over the surface and let harden to form a crispy top. Let sit 5 minutes, then serve.
Makes 8 servings