For Pots de Creme:
2 cups light cream (half and half)
1 (3-inch) vanilla bean
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
For Garnish: (optional)
You will also need:
A large roasting pan and a large pot or kettle of hot or boiling water.
1). Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Have a large pot or kettle of hot or boiling water ready. (See instruction Number 6 pertaining to "water bath").
2). In a medium saucepan, heat 1 3/4 cups of the light cream (half & half) with the vanilla bean until cream is scalding. Do not boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
3). Beat egg yolks until they are lemon colored. Beat in the sugar, salt, and the remaining 1/4 cup of the light cream.
4). Remove the vanilla bean from the hot cream (rinse off the vanilla bean and dry. Store for future use, or you may discard the vanilla bean). Gradually beat the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly.
5). Strain the mixture into a large 4-cup measuring cup.
6). Place six (6) pots de creme cups (or small souffle cups, custard cups or ramekins) in a large roasting pan. Divide the mixture evenly into the 6 cups. Pour enough hot or boiling water in the pan to come halfway up the sides of the cups (this is called a "water bath"). Cover the pan with aluminum foil or cover with the pot lids. Place in oven and bake at 350°F (180°C) until the custard is just set around the edges, approximately 30-35 minutes.
7). Carefully remove the pan (with very hot water) from the oven. Leave pots de creme in pan in water bath, and allow the pots de creme to cool to room temperature. Then, remove the pots de creme from water bath; cover them with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
8). Serve chilled pots de creme with a spoonful of whipped cream and a light dusting of cocoa powder, if desired.
The pots de creme may be chilled in refrigerator for up to 2 days, covered with plastic wrap.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe revised on August 19, 2003.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall ©2003
Date: August 5, 2003