Special equipment: six 8-ounce ramekins; a kitchen torch (optional)
For Kelsey's cinn-a-spice blend: Combine the cinnamon
, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl and mix well.
For the creme brulee: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Pour the cream into a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan
over medium-high heat. Split and scrape the vanilla bean
into the cream and add the cinna-a-spice blend
. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Allow the vanilla bean and spices
in the cream for 10 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, whisk
together the egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until pale yellow. Remove the vanilla bean from the spiced cream and whisk the spiced cream into the egg mixture slowly until fully combined.
Evenly divide the mixture among six 8-ounce ramekins. Carefully transfer the ramekins to a 9- by13-inch baking dish. Pour hot water into the baking dish
until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custard
is set, yet slightly loose in the center, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
Top each custard with 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar. Using a kitchen blowtorch or the broiler, caramelize
evenly just before serving.
Propane gas torches are highly flammable and should be kept away from heat, open flame, and prolonged exposure to sunlight. They should only be used in well-ventilated areas. When lighting a propane gas torch, place the torch on a flat, steady surface, facing away from you. Light the match or lighter and then open the gas valve. Light the gas jet, and blow out the match. Always turn off the burner valve to "finger tight" when finished using the torch. Children should never use a propane gas torch without adult supervision.