Raspberry and basil creme brulee
Photo, Robert Caruso
, about 1 cup
, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups
PREHEAT oven to 300F. Arrange 6 ramekins in a baking dish large enough to hold all of them. Divide raspberries between ramekins. Boil a kettle of water.
WHISK egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until sugar dissolves and mixture is pale and smooth. Reserve, putting a damp kitchen towel under the bowl to keep it steady. Heat cream with basil, stirring often, in a medium sauce- pan over medium, until it starts to boil, about 5 min. Remove and discard basil. Gradually pour hot cream into egg mixture, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens, about 2 min. Whisk in vanilla. Divide mixture among the ramekins. Pour enough water from the kettle down the side of the baking dish until it comes halfway up the ramekins.
BAKE in centre of oven until custard is just set and centres are jiggly, 50 min to 1 hour. Transfer ramekins to a rack and let cool slightly, 10 min. Refrigerate, uncovered, until chilled, at least 2 hours.
SPRINKLE the top of each ramekin with about 1 tbsp of remaining sugar. Smooth tops. Caramelize the sugar with the blowtorch by keeping the flame close to the sugar, using a sweeping motion. Melt sugar to a dark amber colour, then let stand until sugar firms up.