Crème Brûlée

by Katie Johnstonbaugh of:
9 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
8 T. turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream together egg yolks and sugar with a whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick.

Pour cream into a medium saucepan over low heat. Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean down the middle, scrape out the seeds and add them to saucepan. Bring cream to a brief simmer, do not boil or it will overflow. Remove from heat and allow to cool, about 5 minutes.  Temper the yolks by gradually whisking the hot vanilla cream into yolk and sugar mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time twice and then adding the rest. Do not add hot cream too quickly or eggs will scramble.

Divide custard into 8 (4 oz.) or  6 (6 oz.) ramekins, about 3/4 full. Place ramekins in a shallow pan and fill pan with enough water around the ramekins to be level with the cream mixture inside. Bake until barely set around the edges and center, about 40 minutes.Remove from oven and cool to room-temperature. Transfer the ramekins to the refrigerator and chill for 2-4 hours. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar on top of each chilled custard. Hold a kitchen torch 2 inches above surface to brown the sugar and form a crust or place on baking sheet and place under broiler until browned, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.