Paul Bocuse's Creme Brulee
By Teddy Zagat
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
1/4 cup air-dried light brown sugar (see Note)
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
In a medium bowl,
whisk the egg yolks with haf of the granulated sugar.
In a small saucepan,
warm the cream with the vanilla scrapings
and the remaining granulated sugar until steaming.
Gradually whisk the hot cream into the egg yolks until blended.
Strain the custard and pour it into 5-ounce ramekins or shallow gratin dishes.
Set the ramekins in a small baking dish
and add enough hot tap water to the dish to reach halfway up the
sides of the ramekins.
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes,
or until just set.
Let cool in the water bath for 10 minutes,
then remove and let cool completely.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the broiler.
Sift a thin even layer of the air-dried brown sugar over each custard.
Broil 1 ramekin at a time as close as possible to the heat source,
until the sugar melts,
forming a carmelized crust.
To air dry brown sugar,
sift it onto a plate and leave it out,
for 1 day.
It it's humid,
the sifted sigar can also be dried in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Forget the broiler.
Get a propane torch or a butane kitchen torch.
To carmelize the sugar topping,
light the selected torch and point it toward each ramekin until
the sugar melts,
forming the crust.
It takes about one minute (or less!) for each ramekin.