Bay Leaf Creme Brulee
|Milk||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Whipping cream||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Vanilla bean/1 teaspoon vanilla extract||1⁄2 , split|
|Granulated sugar||3⁄4 Cup (12 tbs)|
|Superfine sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
BRING THE MILK and cream to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Coarsely tear the fresh bay leaves and add them to the mixture along with the vanill; bean, if using.
Remove the pan from the heat and let steep for 1 hour.
PREHEAT THE OVEN to 325°F.
BEAT THE EGGS, egg yolks, granulated sugar, vanilla extract (if using), and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk in the steeped milk mixture until well blended.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, discarding the bay leaves and vanilla bean.
POUR THE CUSTARD into eight 3/4-cup ramekins and set them in a shallow pan filled with 1 inch of hot water.
Bake the custards until just set but still slightly jiggly, 40 to 45 minutes.
Let cool, then chill the custards for several hours or overnight.
JUST BEFORE SERVING, sprinkle the surface of each custard with superfine sugar, pouring off any excess.
Using a small propane torch or your broiler, caramelize the sugar just until nicely browned.