serves: 4 people
Nico loves Crème Brûlée, and I love baking him delicious things! I just refilled my butane torch and have been itching to see if my Crème Brûlée would be improved by using one of the vanilla beans I brought back from Hawaii instead of the vanilla extract I was using previously.
OMG! It. Was. Amazing! Totally worth using a vanilla bean, and you can make vanilla extract out of once used beans by submerging them in vodka for a month or so! If you don’t have vanilla beans, don’t worry, replace the bean with 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
- 2 cups half and half (or heavy cream)
- 1 vanilla bean, or 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for the crust
- Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out as many seeds as possible. Combine seeds, bean, salt, and cream together in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 15-20 minutes. If you are using vanilla extract, follow the same instructions, but you do not need to steep.
- Whip egg yolks with sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add 1/4 of the cream mixture to the eggs, whip to combine, add the remaining vanilla cream.
- Pour into four dishes and carefully place those dishes onto a high sided cookie sheet.
- Pour cool water halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until the centers are set.
- Remove from water bath, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 2 hours to fully set.
- Add about 1 tablespoon sugar evenly to the surface of each custard and brûlée with a butane torch. If you do not have one, you can broil for a few minutes, but check on it regularly to make sure you don’t burn too much.