Capital Grille Creme Brulee

The Capital Grille Recipe

Serves 4

2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 pinch salt
1/2 cup pasteurized egg yolk product
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 packets sugar in the raw, for topping (2 per Creme Brulee)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the cream, vanilla and salt.  Warm over moderate heat until the surface begins to simmer, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, stir the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon until blended.  Pour in the hot creme and stir gently to avoid forming air bubbles...until the sugar dissolves.  Strain the custard into a large measuring cup or pitcher and skim off any surface bubbles.

Place four 3/4-cup ramekins in a roasting pan.  Pour the custard into the ramekins, filling them to the rim.  Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour in enough warm water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Cover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes...or until the custard is firm around the edges.  (It may still be wobbly at the center; it will firm up as it chills.) Remove the ramekins from the water bath and let cool.  Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.  (The custards can be prepared to this point up to 2 days ahead.  If small pools of liquid develop on the surface, blot with a paper towel before proceeding.)

Preheat the broiler.  Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.  Pour 2 packets of "sugar in the raw"' over the top of each custard in a thin layer.  Using a metal spatula or sharp knife, spread the sugar evenly.  Broil the custards as close to the heat as possible until the sugar is caramelized (from 30 seconds to 2 minutes watch carefully).  Let cool and serve immediately,  refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

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