Legend's Restaurant Creme Brule
• 2 cups whipping cream
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
• 5 large egg yolks
For Crème Brûlé
• 12 teaspoons sugar
Preheat oven to 325°F. Place six 3/4-cup ramekins in 1 pan. Mix cream, sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Using a sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add both to saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to simmer. Cover pan, reduce heat to very low and simmer gently for ten minutes to combine flavors. Strain into large measuring cup.
Whisk yolks in medium bowl until blended. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture just to blend. Return custard to measuring cup; divide custard among dishes. Pour enough hot water into pans to come halfway up sides of dishes. Carefully transfer pans to oven.
Bake custards until almost set in center when pans are gently shaken, about 35 minutes for ramekins. Using metal spatula, transfer custards in dishes to work surface; cool for 30 minutes. Chill at least 3 hours and hold for up to 2 days.
Make Crème Brûlé:
Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sugar evenly over each custard. Working with a single custard at a time, hold blowtorch so that flame is 2 inches above surface. Pass flame over sugar until dark golden brown.
Refrigerate until custards are firm again but topping is still brittle, at least 2 hours.
Flavoring extracts or syrups can be added before baking.