2 vanilla beans
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 extra large egg yolks
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
½ cup milk
Glaze: 1/3 cup brown sugar
Slit the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out interior seeds with a knife/ Place them in the workbowl of an electric mixer (Pods can be used to make vanilla sugar by submerging them in the sugar container.) Add the granulated sugar and egg yolks to the bowl and whisk for two minutes on #6 setting. Pour in the milk and whipping cream. Strain this custard into a clean bowl. Cover and allow to steep for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Assemble 6 – ½ cup ramekins. Divide the custard among the ramekins, place on a tray and bake for 40 minutes or until the custard is just set. Cool on a rack. Cover carefully and refrigerate for 4 hours, until well chilled.
Divide the brown sugar among the ramekins. Either use a torch to melt the sugar into a golden crust or brown in the oven under the broiler (set 4” below the flame). Serve immediately.
VARIATION: CHOCOLATE CRÈME BRULÉE
Begin by preheating the oven to 250 degrees and assembling the ramekins. Omit the vanilla bean. Melt 8 ounces dark chocolate (Valrhona preferred) Beat the yolks and sugar as in the master recipe. Whisk in the chocolate and liquid. Divide the mixture among the ramekins and bake, chill, and glaze as indicated above.