• 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
• 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
• Pinch of salt
• 5 large egg yolks
• 6 tablespoons sanding or turbinado sugar, divided
• Fruit for garnish, optional
1. Heat oven to 325 F. Arrange six 4-ounce ramekins on a large, rimmed baking sheet.
2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cream, half the sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod, and salt. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often, and boil until sugar is dissolved.
3. Place egg yolks in a large bowl and beat lightly. Whisk in remaining sugar until combined. Gradually add 1/3 of the hot cream mixture and whisk to incorporate into the egg yolks. Add remaining hot cream mixture and stir well to thoroughly combine and form a custard.
4. Strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large glass measuring bowl with a pour spout. Carefully pour custard into the ramekins, filling them all the way to the rims.
5. Place baking sheet in the oven, then pour hot water in the pan to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges are set but the centers still jiggle when the ramekins are shaken gently.
7. Remove the ramekins from the pan and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Wrap ramekins in cling wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
8. Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sanding sugar over the custard in each ramekin. Arrange ramekins on a baking sheet and place under the broiler to melt and caramelize the sugar. Garnish with fruit, if desired, and serve immediately.
Looking for more out-of-the-ordinary Christmas recipes? Try some of our other Non-Traditional Holiday Recipes.