4 egg yolks
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 vanilla bean
2-½ cups heavy cream
White sugar for sprinkling
1. Preheat conventional oven to 300°F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and white sugar until pale yellow in color. Scrape vanilla bean pod to add seeds to egg yolk mixture. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm cream until just simmering, approximately 3 minutes.
4. Slowly pour warm cream into egg mixture a little at a time, whisking carefully to avoid scrambling the eggs. Pour mixture through a sieve into a pitcher, leaving behind any solids that may have formed.
5. Pour egg and cream mixture into six 4 oz (or four 6 oz) ramekins placed in a shallow pan or baking dish. Add enough water to reach about halfway up the sides of ramekins. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until custard has solidified. Cool overnight, or at least 1 hour.
6. Preheat grill to 1500°F.
7. Sprinkle an even layer of sugar over each custard and place on grate positioned closest to the top of the grill. Cook 30 seconds, or until caramelized and brown in color.