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Perfect Creme Brulee

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
6 large egg yolks, chilled
6 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, chilled
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 275F. Butter
six 1/2 cup ramekins or six 2/3 cup custard cups and set them in
a glass baking pan.

Whisk yolks in medium bowl until slightly thickened. Add white
sugar and whisk until dissolved. Whisk in cream, then pour mixture
into prepared ramekins.

Set baking pan on oven rack and pour warm water into pans to come
halfway up the ramekins. Bake uncovered until custards are just
barely set, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Remove baking pans from oven, leaving ramekins in the hot water;
cool to room temperature. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and
refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. (Can be covered and
refrigerated overnight.)

While custards are cooling, spread brown sugar ina small baking
pan; set in turned-off (but still warm) oven until sugar dries,
about 20 mins. Transfer sugar to a small zipper-lock freezer bag;
seal bag and crush sugar fine with a rolling pin. Store sugar in
an airtight container until ready to top custards.

Adjust oven rack to the next-to-the-highest position and heat
broiler. Remove chilled ramekins from refrigerator, uncover, and
evenly spread each with 2 tablespoons dried sugar. Set ramekins in
a baking pan. Broil, watching constantly and rotating pan for even
carmelization, until toppings are brittle, 2 to 3 minutes, depending
on heat intensity.

Refrigerate creme brulee to rechill custard, about 30 minutes.
Brown sugar topping will start to deteriorate in about 2 hours.


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