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Basil-Thyme Crème Brûlée

Prep time 10 mins
Cook time 5 mins
Stand time 35 mins
Bake time 35 mins
Chill time 3 hrs
Broil time 3 mins
Yield Makes 2 servings
Make the custards a day or two ahead, and broil them just before serving to produce a crackly topping.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar

How to Make It

  1. Heat cream and sugar over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Stir in vanilla bean, basil, and thyme. Bring mixture to a simmer, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

  2. Whisk in egg yolks. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding herbs. Pour mixture evenly into 2 (6-oz.) ramekins; place ramekins in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Add hot water to pan to a depth of 1/2 inch.

  3. Bake at 275° for 35 minutes or until almost set. Remove from water bath, and let stand 30 minutes; cover and chill at least 3 hours.

  4. Sprinkle 1 1/4 tsp. sugar evenly over each custard. Broil, 5 inches from heat, 3 minutes or until sugar is browned. Serve immediately.