2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean (or 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, + 5 tablespoons sugar – divided
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Place cream in a saucepan. Cut the vanilla bean in half, scrape the caviar out, and add to the heavy cream. Add the vanilla bean as well, and heat over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of the sugar until pale yellow and thick, about 2 minutes.
- Pick the vanilla bean out the of cream, or strain the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Whisk the yolks while very slowly drizzling in the heavy cream, whisking constantly. Go slowly at first, and once you’ve added half the cream, you can go a little bit faster.
- Place the ramekins into a roasting pan or onto a rimmed baking sheet. Fill the ramekins with custard. Pour hot water into the roasting pan or baking sheet until it comes halfway up the ramekins.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the custard is set but still jiggly in the center, 30-35 minutes (this depends on how thick or wide your ramekins are).
- Cool the ramekins on the countertop, then chill for at least 2-3 hours, up to 3 days in advance.
- To serve, sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons of sugar on top of each ramekin. Use a kitchen blow torch to quickly (but carefully) caramelize the sugar on top. There should be a thin, crisp layer of caramel on top of the custard. Wait a minute or two and then serve immediately; do the caramelizing at the last minute because the crisp caramel will soften after extended periods of time.
Recipe Source: The Pioneer Woman