These individual crème brullees are lovely served with crisp shortbreads decorated with edible pansies!


    300ml double cream
    1 vanila pod
    3 egg yolks
    25g caster sugar
    2tbs demerara sugar (or caster sugar for a paler top)


    Preheat the oven to 150°C fan/170°C conventional/Gas 3.

    Place 3 Denby ramekins in a deep baking tray

    Pour the cream into a heavy based saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a sharp knife. Add the vanilla seeds and the pod to the cream. Bring to the boil over a medium low heat then turn off immediately and pour into a glass jug or earthenware bowl to cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove the vanilla pod and discard.

    Whisk the egg yolk with the caster sugar in a medium bowl. Very gradually pour the hot cream onto the egg and sugar mixture, whisking gently all the time.

    Pour the custard mixture into the ramekins. Use a jug to add cold water to the tin until it comes about 2/3 of the way up the ramekins, taking care not to allow any water to get into the cream.

    Carefully put the tin into the oven and bake for 40 minutes until just set, but still a tiny bit wobbly. Cool then chill, preferably overnight.

    Cover the tops of the cold custards with demerara sugar and caramelise with a cooks blowtorch or under the grill, taking care not to heat it too quickly or the sugar will burn.

    Serve with homemade shortbread biscuits.

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