- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 1/2 T vanilla)
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 9 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar plus 4 T for topping
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise. In a medium saucepan, combine vanilla bean and cream and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks with the 3/4 cup sugar. Remove the vanilla bean from the cream. Whisking, gradually add half the cream to the yolk-and-sugar mixture, then pour the mixture into the saucepan with the remaining cream. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan. Whisk to blend.
Pour mixture into ramekins. Place the dishes in a 13x9 baking pan. Pour boiling water into the pan until halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake 50 minutes until the custard centers are barely set. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 4 hours or until chilled.
Preheat broiler. Sprinkle the tops of the custard evenly with the remaining sugar. Broil 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar melts and browns slightly. Refrigerate about 15 minutes to set.