- 4 c heavy cream, chilled
- 2/3 c granulated sugar
- 1 table salt
- 1 vanilla bean
- 12 large egg yolks
- 12 tsp turbinado sugar
- Place a rack in the lower-middle position over your oven and preheat to 300 degrees.
- Combine 2 cups of the cream, the 2/3 cups sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. With a pairing knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan, submerge te pod in the cream, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the sugar dissolves. Take the pan off the heat and let steep for 15 minutes.
- Place a kitchen towel in the bottom of a large baking dish (the towel prevents the bottom of the ramekin from overheating) and arrange eight 4 - 6 oz ramekins on the towel, making sure they do not touch. Use another pan if you need more space. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
- After the vanilla bean has steeped, stir in the remaining cream to cool down the mixture. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until broken up and combined. Whisk about of the cream mixture into the yolks until combined. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup or bowl. Discard the solids in the strainer. Divide the mixture evenly in the ramekins.
- Carefully place the baking dish with the ramekins on the oven rack. Pour the boiling water into the dish, taking care not to splash water into the ramekins, until the water reaches two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the centers of the custards are just barely set and no longer sloshy and register 170 - 175 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 35 minutes. Begin checking the temperature about 5 minutes before the recommended time.
- Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Set the ramekins on a rimmed backing sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
- Uncover the ramekins. If condensation has collected on the custards, blot the moisture with a paper towel. Sprinkle each with about 1 tsp turbinado sugar. Ignite a torch and caramelize the sugar. Refigerate the ramekins, uncovered 30 to 45 minutes and serve.
Amazon carries lots of kitchen torches. I use this one. You should be able to pick up butane at your grocery store. It took me a bit to figure out that I needed to go to the counter where you normally buy cigarettes since butane is considered hazardous.