Crème brûlée is not simply about intensely satisfying vanilla notes. The joy of crème brûlée is tasting the contrasts - the hot/savory note of burnt sugar and the cool/sweet interior, and above all the the audible crack of its hard shell giving way to the luxuriantly velvet-textured custard underneath.
The key is to take the time necessary to form the shell. Keep the tip of the flame in constant motion by sweeping the tip back and forth across the surface in quick, even passes. Two or three quick and even sweeps is better than a slow single pass - lingering too long in one place will leave a scorched surface.
Peach Crème Brûlée
2 1/2 c Heavy Cream
1/2 # Frozen Peaches
4 oz Sugar
5 oz Egg Yolk (3 large yolks)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Spiced Sugar as needed (1 tsp Nutmeg + 1 c granulated sugar)
8-10 Mint Leaves
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat combine the heavy cream with the peaches. Bring the cream to a boil then turn off the heat. Puree the peaches into the cream and then strain away the solids.
2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla. While still whisking slowly pour the hot cream into the yolk mixture. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, strain, and let the mixture sit in the refrigerator over night.
3. Evenly divide the mixture between 8-10 ramekins and place into a shallow baking dish. Fill the baking dish with water half way up the sides of the ramekins.
4. Bake the custards at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until they are completely set.
5. Allow the custards to cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
6. Lightly coat the top of each custard with spiced sugar, dumping off any excess. Using a blowtorch or the broiler in your oven, burn the sugar until there is a single, slightly blackened, piece of sugar on top. Let cool for 30 seconds.