Updated: Oct 13, 2022
¾ cups heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp granulated sugar, plus extra to caramelize top
Preheat oven to 350 F
With a wire whisk or electric mixer, vigorously whisk egg yolks with granulated sugar in a large bowl, until mixture becomes light in color and sugar has dissolved a bit; set aside.
In the microwave, heat cream until very hot.
Gradually pour the cream into the egg/sugar mix, whisking gently by hand to combine. Stir in vanilla.
Place individual custard cups in a deep dish baking pan, large enough to hold 2 to 3 six-ounce custard cups and deep enough to allow the water for the water bath to be added reaching at least halfway up the cups. I recommend these cute custard ramekins from Amazon.com.
Fill custard cups ¾ full. Place pan in preheated oven and pour hot water into baking pan so water level reaches halfway up the sides of the cups. Cover pan with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, sealing edges to retain steam. Cook 30 to 40 minute or until custards are set.
To test for doneness, either: gently shake the cups; if center is still a bit liquid-like return custards to oven and continue to cook, checking every 5-7 minutes. The center may be a little bit loose (about the size of a quarter), but this is done. Or can stick toothpick in around outside half of custard, comes out clean is done.
Remove custard cups from baking pan and chill custard in refrigerator until completely chilled (1 hour).
To serve, put a thin layer of granulated sugar atop each custard (1 Tbsp). Use a Crème Brulee torch to caramelize sugar. I recommend this gold one from Amazon.com. Or preheat broil and place the custard under the broiler until sugar is golden brown (never black). Leave the door ajar. If burnt, let the sugar layer cool, then peel it away and begin again.