- 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Arrange 4 ramekins in a baking dish or a high-sided baking sheet. Boil a kettle of water and set it aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and the seeds from the vanilla beans. Heat the cream over medium heat, just until you begin to see bubbles forming around the edges. Turn off the heat, cover the cream, and allow it to cool until it reaches 165°F on a thermometer, about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ¼ cup sugar, and salt, just until they are combined. When the cream has reached the correct temperature, slowly begin to add it to the egg mixture, ½ cup at a time, whisking constantly. This process is call tempering. Once about half the cream mixture has already been added, add the remaining cream to the bowl and whisk just until the mixture is combined.
- Carefully divide the custard mixture between the 4 ramekins, leaving at least ¼ inch of space at the top of each. Pour the hot water into baking dish so it surrounds the ramekins and then carefully transfer it to the oven.
- Cook the custard until it has reached a temperature of 155°F on a thermometer, usually between 40 and 50 minutes. It should be set but still slightly jiggly in the centre. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and carefully transfer the ramekins to a cooling rack.
- Allow the custards to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature and then transfer them to the refrigerator to cool for an additional 1 to 2 hours.
- When it’s time to serve them, remove them from the refrigerator. Sprinkle ½ to 1 teaspoon sugar on the top of each and gently turn and tap the ramekin to spread it around until it creates an even layer.
- Hold the flame from a kitchen torch about 2 to 3 inches away from the surface and gently glide back and forth until the sugar melts and becomes golden brown. Allow the sugar to harden for 2 to 3 minutes and then serve immediately.
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