1 Qt Heavy Cream
8 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1/3 cup sugar for mixture
More granulated sugar for topping(about ½ cup)
Heat cream and vanilla bean together on stove top over medium heat. Do not allow it to boil. Meanwhile, mix egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl with a whisk.
Temper eggs with some of the hot cream mixture. When mixture is warm, add the cream more quickly, stirring until all is combined. Do not beat like crazy. You do not want too much air in this mixture. Strain custard through a fine sieve.
Place ramekins on a sheetpan. Fill each ramekin with about 6 oz of mix. Place this in a preheated 275 degree oven. Fill the sheetpan half way with hot water. Set the timer for half an hour. Check and turn the pan (very carefully!) if the brulees are not cooking evenly. Give them another half an hour. Brulees are done when the custard seems to move in a singular unit. Overbaking will turn them into scrambled eggs.
Allow the cooked brulees to cool a bit and then refrigerate. When ready to serve, sprinkle liberally with granulated sugar and caramelize with a blow torch. Fresh fruit is a nice accompaniment and garnish.