6 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups cream or half and half
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat the cream (or half and half) in a small pan over low heat until it just starts to simmer. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until they become a pale yellow color and look satiny, about 2 minutes and 1/2 minutes.
Temper the egg yolks with the hot cream by slowing pouring in 1/2 cup of the hot cream while you continue to beat the yolks. Continue with the remaining cream (or half and half) until all the cream has been incorporated into the yolks. Add vanilla and beat until well blended.
Ladle 1/2 cup of the custard into each of six 1/2 or 3/4 cup heat proof shallow ramekins, which have been placed into a baking dish.
Partially pull out the oven rack (placed in the middle of the oven) and put the baking dish on it. Fill the baking dish carefully (don't spill any water into custards) with hot tap water until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 15 to 25 minutes until the brulees jiggles just slightly in the middle. You do not want them brown. Remove from oven and allow to sit in pan for 30 minutes. Remove and place in refrigeratot and allow to chill thoroughly.
Just before serving, sprinkle tops with white sugar or use a raw sugar, shake off excess. Place ramekins under broiler until caramelized, or use a propane torch to melt the sugar on top. You are creating the candy like shell on top of the custard. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve.