Corn crème brûlée was a great success, so we figured it was time to pull out the torch again when Dustin's parents visited us and make a traditional, sweet vanilla crème brûlée— a restaurant dessert menu staple.
Here is the recipe I used as the base for an incredibly basic and super easy crème brûlée. All you have to do is whisk two cups of heavy cream together with five egg yolks, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, and a tablespoon of vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Pour the mixture into four ramekins (these will be large crème brûlées, so be warned if you are watching your calories— it isn't easy to stop eating one once you start) sitting in a dish with high sides. Fill the large dish with water so that the water reaches half the height of the ramekins (and no water touches the cream mixture).
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 300°. There's all sorts of videos online about how to test for doneness, but I wasn't really sure how to know. In the end, I pulled it out when the center was just barely jiggling. The ramekins are then transferred out of the baking dish and let to cool for at least 15 minutes before transferring to the fridge to fully solidify. Let them chill in the fridge for several hours (if not overnight) and remove 30 minutes before you want to brûlée the tops.
When you are ready to torch them, sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar between the tops of the four ramekins (I used a combination of brown sugar, vanilla sugar, and turbinado sugar for some variety) covering the entire surface of the custard. Torch the tops until the sugar is caramelized and you have a nice brown and crunchy top. You can probably torch a little more than you think you need based on sight. Serve immediately.
The temperature and texture differences of the sugared top and the inner custard are fabulous. Super easy, but fancy dinner dessert. It works great with a spring of mint and some berries, but we decided not to get fancy and just dig in immediately!