- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a small heavy saucepan heat half-and-half over medium-low heat just until bubbly. Remove from heat; set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine egg yolks, the 1/3 cup sugar, the vanilla, and salt. Beat with a wire whisk just until combined. Slowly whisk the hot half-and-half into the egg mixture.
- Place six 4-ounce souffle dishes or 6-ounce custard cups in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or pan. Pour egg mixture evenly into ungreased souffle dishes. Place baking dish on rack in oven. Pour boiling water into the baking dish until halfway up the sides of the souffle dishes.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the centers comes out clean. Carefully remove souffle dishes from water. Let cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 1 to 8 hours.
- Before serving, let custards stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a heavy 8-inch skillet heat the 1/4 cup sugar over medium-high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking the skillet occasionally for even melting. Do not stir. When sugar starts to melt, reduce heat to low; cook about 5 minutes more or until all sugar is melted and golden brown, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Quickly drizzle the caramelized sugar over custards. (If sugar starts to harden in the skillet, return to heat and stir until melted.) Serve immediately.
From the Test Kitchen
Amaretto Creme Brulee:
Prepare as above, except stir 2 tablespoons amaretto, creme de cacao, or coffee liqueur into the egg yolk mixture.
Maple Creme Brulee:
Prepare as above, except reduce sugar to 3 tablespoons and stir 2 tablespoons maple syrup or maple-flavor syrup and 1 teaspoon maple extract (optional) into egg yolk mixture.
Nutrition Facts (Creme Brulee)
- Per serving:
- 209 kcal ,
- 12 g fat
- (6 g sat. fat ,
- 1 g polyunsaturated fat ,
- 4 g monounsaturated fat ),
- 197 mg chol. ,
- 84 mg sodium ,
- 22 g carb. ,
- 19 g sugar ,
- 4 g pro.