Creme Brulee (best recipe found so far, also takes the longest)




(Also just a good pudding without the brown sugar crust)

Preheat the oven to 300F. and butter a 9-inch (1-quart capacity) flame-proof shallow baking dish. In the pan bring the milk and the cream just to a boil with the vanilla bean and remove the pan from the heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk mixture and discard the pod (or reserve it for another use).

In a bowl whisk together the whole eggs, the egg yolks, the white sugar, and the salt, and whisk the mixture until it is combined well. Add the milk mixture in a stream, whisking, and pour the custard into bowls or little dessert cups. Transfer them to a baking pan, add enough hot water to the pan to reach halfway up the side of the dish, and bake the custard in the middle of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until it is set completely. Transfer bowls to a rack, let it cool, and chill it, covered, for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Just before serving, preheat the broiler, blot the top to the custard dry with a paper towel, and force the brown sugar through a coarse sieve onto the top of it, covering it evenly. Put the bowls in a baking pan filled with ice and broil the custard about 2 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the brown sugar is melted and crisp (be careful not to let the brown sugar burn). Let the crme brle cool in the pan of ice for 3 minutes and serve it, Garnish with fresh fruit such as raspberries and a sprig of mint.