Using a creme brulee torch is definitely the easiest way to caramelize the sugar, but you can do it under a broiler if you don’t have a torch.
You can certainly leave the raspberries out of these if you’d like. I left one without raspberries because my picky, picky, Braydon doesn’t like raspberries (gasp!!).
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Fresh raspberries ((about 1 1/2 cups))
- About 3/4 cup granulated sugar (, Turbinado sugar (raw sugar) or sifted brown sugar for the tops (I prefer the raw sugar.))
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place 6 ramekin dishes in a large roasting pan or on a jelly roll baking sheet, place 5 to 6 raspberries on the bottom of each dish. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, bring the cream and milk just to a boil.
- In a large glass measuring cup or in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together until well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter or the hot liquid (this will temper the yolks so they won’t curdle). Continue whisking while slowly pouring in the remainder of the cream mixture. Gently tap the bowl on the counter to get any air bubbles out of the custard, then pour it into the baking dishes, filing them 3/4 full.
- Pour enough water into the baking pan to come up 1/4 way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake the custards for 50-60 minutes, or until the custards are set (tap the sides of the dishes, and the custards should hold firm. Lift the dishes onto a cooling rack and let the custards cool until they reach room temperature.
- Cover each custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably longer. (The custards can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.) For the sugar to be successfully caramelized, the custards need to be thoroughly chilled.
- To caramelize the sugar topping with a blowtorch, work on one dish at a time. Sprinkle the top of each custard evenly with sugar – about 1 tablespoon for each dish, then brown the sugar, cooking until it bubbles and colors.
- To caramelize the sugar in a broiler, preheat the broiler and fill a shallow roasting pan with the ice cubes. Sprinkle the custards with the sugar, put the baking dishes on the bed of ice and run the custards under the broiler. Don’t move away from your oven, depending on your broiler, it can take just seconds. When the sugar bubbles and browns, pull the custards out, remove them from their ice bed and let them settle down before serving.