2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 medium vanilla bean; split, seeds scraped
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
12 egg yolks
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, over medium heat, cook the sugar, water and vanilla bean until it turns a deep caramel color. Swirl pan to color evenly, do not stir.
When caramel in color, turn off the heat and slowly add milk and cream. Be careful, it will splatter. If caramel hardens, turn on the heat and stir until harden caramel dissolves and the mixture boils. Once it reaches a boil, remove from the heat.
In a bowl, mix yolks, salt and vanilla extract. Slowly temper in caramel mixture, adding a small amount at a time, to prevent yolks from scrambling. Mix to combine, then strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Fill 6 (4-ounce) ramekins with the creme mixture. Place them in a high-sided baking dish and fill baking dish 1/2 full with boiling water. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until set. The
middle should jiggle slightly.
Remove, let cool and refrigerate.
Source: Barbara Lynch