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- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 vanilla bean,* split lengthwise
- 5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup fresh raspberries or sliced small fresh strawberries
- Fresh raspberries or strawberries (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a small heavy saucepan combine cream and vanilla bean. Cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes or just until mixture starts to simmer, stirring frequently (do not boil). Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes to infuse cream with vanilla flavor. Remove vanilla bean; discard or reserve for another use.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine egg yolks and sugar. Beat with a wire whisk just until mixture is thick and lemon colored. Gradually whisk warm cream into egg mixture.
3. Place eight 4-ounce ramekins or six 6-ounce custard cups in a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Divide the 3/4 cup berries among ramekins. Divide cream mixture evenly among ramekins. Place baking pan on an oven rack. Pour hot water into baking pan to reach halfway up sides of ramekins.
4. Bake about 1 hour or until a knife inserted near centers comes out clean. Remove ramekins from water; cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 1 to 8 hours. If desired, garnish with additional berries.
- You may substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. If using the vanilla extract, heat only the whipping cream just until warm; do not cook until simmering or let stand for 15 minutes. Add vanilla extract to warm cream.