Margaret Fulton's Crème Brulee

Serves 4

• 2 cups (500ml) cream, or half cream
and half milk
• 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
• ¼ cup (55g) caster sugar,
plus sugar for dusting
• 4 eggs yolks
• 1 teaspoon corn-flour

Gentle cooking is essential to ensure the perfect smoothness of texture necessary for good custard. A good crème brulee relies on a good stove top which can be reduced into a very gentle heat and a fabulous grill for glazing the top.

1. Place the cream in a heavy-based medium saucepan with the vanilla bean and seeds over low heat.

Cook until reached scalding point, remove from heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes then strain.

2. Using a balloon whisk or electric mixture beat sugar with egg yolks for 2-3 minutes, until thick and creamy. Beat in corn-flour, then gradually stir in strained cream. Pour mixture into top part of a double boiler or return to saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring until custard thickens sufficiently to cover back of spoon. Keep custard cooking well below simmering point to prevent it splitting. Remove from heat and stir for 1-2 minutes or cool slightly. Strain into 6 individual or 1 large (about 2 ½ cup) heatproof serving dish and cool before placing in fridge and chilling completely for several hours.

3. Preheat grill on high. Sprinkle custard in a thin even layer with sugar. Place custard in a baking dish surrounded with ice to keep custard chilled. Place under preheated grill for a few minutes until sugar melts and forms a toffee glaze. Serve immediately.

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