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Arnaud's Creme Brulee

Serves 6

6 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

In a medium bowl with mixer set at medium speed, beat the egg yolks and sugar. Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat immediately and add to the egg-sugar mixture, continuing to beat. Add the vanilla extract and continue to beat until the mixture is completely cool.

Pour the cooled mixture into six 4-ounce custard cups. Line the sides of a 3-inch high baking pan with parchment paper, then place the cups in the pan. Add water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cups. (The paper stabilizes the water and prevents the cups from shaking.) Bake for 50 minutes.

Remove the cups from the pan, allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.

Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar over the top of each cup. Place the cups on a sheet pan and set under the broiler until the sugar melts, darkens and forms a crust.

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