Note, the recipe is given in grams in order to ensure the correct proportion of ingredients. Using a scale is highly recommended to get best results.
1. Preheat oven to 300ºF, and set out 2 shallow glass casserole or cake dishes with 6 ramekins arranged inside for later. Have hot water ready to pour into the dishes up to a level that will cover halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
2. Cut vanilla bean pods into approximate 1? segments and slice lengthwise. With your thumb, gradually open the bean pod segments to expose the tiny black seeds inside, and scrape them out with the back of your thumbnail into a small dish.
3. Combine yolks, vanilla bean seeds, sugar and salt into small bowl and blend together with a whisk until smooth.
4. Combine heavy cream and vanilla bean pods in a small sauce pan on medium heat, stirring frequently until steam begins to rise off the mixture (just short of boiling). Remove from heat.
4. Using a small sieve, remove the vanilla bean pods from the heated cream or strain through sieve into a second bowl.
5. Begin slowly pouring heated cream into the egg mixture to avoid curdling the eggs—while constantly stirring. As the eggs temper, gradually increase the pour rate as you go.
6. Divide the mixture between the 6 ramekins. Add hot water to the baking dishes to a level halfway up the sides of the ramekins (this will temper the heat in the oven to prevent curdling of the egg during baking). Cover loosely with foil.
7. Place on center oven rack for approximately 45 minutes until the centers of the custards are set and shake gently when the pan is shifted.
8. Remove from oven, set ramekins aside to cool for 5 minutes while draining hot water out of the baking dishes. Cool baking dishes in cool running water, and then prepare an ice bath (ice cubes in water).
9. Cover the ramekins with plastic cling wrap and place in the ice bath to speed cooling. Move to refrigerator for an hour or more before serving.
10. Remove ramekins from the ice bath, take off cling wrap and remove any condensation with the corner of a paper towel if needed.
11. Dust tops of custards with granulated sugar to taste (the more you use the thicker the crust that develops in the last step). Shake the ramekins to level and distribute the sugar evenly across the surface.
12. Using a blow torch (I prefer a kitchen chef model to have better control) heat the sugar layer until it caramelizes. Keep the flame moving and adjust the heat level by moving closer of further away. The goal is to achieve a deep burnt orange or brown color across the middle portion of the custard. At first the sugar may bead up into caramelized droplets that eventually merge to form a continuous crust. This is a skill that improves with practice. This last step can be performed in front of the guests as entertainment.
13. Let the ramekins cool for a few moments (the torch can make the ceramic quite hot to the touch) and serve. Garnish with cool fruit if desired (raspberries, or blueberries are good choices). An optional finish is to top with Maldon Flake or Black Lava salt (these are large pyramidal crystals of salt infused with charcoal). The contrast in flavors and colors is a delight for the senses!
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (142g)|
|Recipe Makes: 6 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 397 (81%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 44.1g||59 %|
|Saturated Fat 25.6g||128 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 13.8g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 2.5g|
|Cholesterol 466.1mg||143 %|
|Sodium 51mg||2 %|
|Potassium 110.7mg||3 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 19.1g||6 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0.1g||1 %|
|Sugars, other 18.9g|
|Protein 6.3g||9 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 489
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