- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 pinch salt
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Hot water for water bath
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour cream into a medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add to saucepan along with vanilla bean pod. Heat mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a light boil. Remove from heat and let rest 15 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup granulated sugar and salt with egg yolks until mixture becomes slightly pale. While whisking, slowly pour cream mixture into egg yolk mixture. Stir in vanilla extract and remove vanilla bean pod.
- Place ramekins into baking pans. Divide cream mixture among ramekins, filling each nearly full. Pour hot water into pan and fill water level to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in preheated oven 30 - 45 minutes, until set but centers still jiggle slightly (bake time will vary based on which size ramekins used, lesser for smaller, greater for larger). Cool at room temperature 30 minutes then transfer to refrigerator to chill 3 hours.
- Remove from refrigerator and let rest 20 minutes, then sprinkle tops evenly with remaining sugar. Holding a hand held kitchen torch, about 4-inches from sugar, evenly brown sugar. Remove the flame just before desired shade is reached. Return to refrigerator and chill 20 minutes.