Creme Brulee: a classic dessert that's total perfection. Creamy vanilla custard, under a crunchy cap of caramelized sugar. Easy recipe; just 5 ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, and place the heavy cream in a small pot.
Split the vanilla bean with a sharp knife, scrape the seeds out, and place the seeds and the pod in the pot with the cream.
Heat the cream over low heat.
Whisk the yolks, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl.
When the cream is hot and steamy, dribble it into the yolk mixture in a slow stream while whisking.
Place the unbaked creme brulee in a larger baking dish over a kitchen towel, and fill the larger dish with very hot water until it reaches about halfway up the creme brulee dishes.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until set around the edges but still a little wobbly towards the center.
Chill for 2 hours.
Sprinkle about a tablespoon of granulated sugar over the tops of each creme brulee, then caramelize with a brulee torch (or under the broiler) until browned.
*2 teaspoons of vanilla extract may be substituted. Add it after the hot cream.
**If a deeper ramekin is used, bake time may need to be extended slightly.