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Creme Brulee

4 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 tablespoons of light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a heavy saucepan, combine the
cream, vanilla bean and salt. Warm over moderate heat until the
surface begins to shimmer, about five minutes.

In a large bowl, stir the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon
until blended. Pour in the hot cream and stir gently to avoid
forming air bubbles until the sugar dissolves. Strain the custard
into a large measuring cup or pitcher and skim off any surface
bubbles. (Rinse off the vanilla bean and reserve for another use).

Place eight 3/4-cup ramekins in a roasting pan. Our the custard
into the ramekins, filling them to the rim. Place the roasting
pain in the oven and pour in enough warm water to reach halfway up
the sides of the ramekins. Cover loosely with foil and bake for
one hour and fifteen minutes or until the custard is firm around
the edges. (It may still be wobbly at the center; it will firm up
as it chills.).

Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool. Over and
refrigerate until cold, at least three hours. (The custards can
be prepared to this point up to two days ahead. If small pools of
liquid develop on the surface, blot with a paper towel before
proceeding.).

Preheat the broiler. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet. Sieve
one tablespoon of brown sugar over the top of each custard in a
thin layer. Using a metal spatula or a sharp knife, spread the
sugar evenly. Broil the custards as close to the heat as possible
until the sugar is caramelized, 30 seconds to two minutes; watch
carefully. Let cool and serve immediately or refrigerate up to
four hours.

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