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It’s something about the velvety texture of the custard against the crunchy sugar crust. It’s the way that the top half of the ramekin is warm from cooking the sugar and the bottom half is still cold from the refrigerator. It’s because when I take a bite, I know that there are very few, if any, people in my neighborhood eating something as insanely delicious as I am.
Preheat oven to 300 F. Bring a kettle of water to boil.
Put the milk and cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds from half of it into the milk and cream. Scald the mixture (heat it just to right before it boils) over medium heat.
While it’s heating, whisk remaining ingredients together in a large heat-proof bowl. Slowly add the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Then strain the mixture into another bowl through a fine strainer.
Cool the mixture and pour into ramekins. Place ramekins in a baking dish, cover the dish part way with foil, place on your oven rack in the oven and leave oven door open. You’re not baking them yet, but putting the pan in the oven before filling it with water will help prevent any swishing of water into the custards, making them soggy.
Pour the boiling water into the baking dish until water comes half-way up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the open portion of the dish with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. When done, the custards can be gently shaken and will be set around the edges but remain slightly underdone in the center (will move like Jello).
Cool completely in fridge.
Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over tops of each custard. Using a torch or broiler caramelize the sugar until it forms a shell over the custard.
This peanut butter cream pie is made extra yummy by using a chocolate cream base and a meringue topping. It’s a little bit more work than some of the recipes I’ve posted but it is well worth it. And hard as it is to resist, it is best when left to set up and then cool completely in the refrigerator.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!