600ml/1 pint/2½ cups double (heavy) cream
1 vanilla pod (bean), split lengthways
5 large (US extra-large) egg yolks
50g/2oz/¼ cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 Put the cream and vanilla pod in a pan and bring slowly to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes, then remove the vanilla pod.
2 Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2. Put six ramekins in a roasting pan.
3 Beat the egg yolks with 1 tbsp caster sugar in a bowl. Gradually stir in the vanilla cream, then strain into a jug and pour into the ramekins. Pour enough warm water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
4 Bake in the oven for 40–45 minutes until set. Cool, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
5 Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the custards to form a thin layer. Pop under a very hot grill (broiler) for 2–3 minutes until it caramelizes. Set aside to cool for 1 hour until the caramel is crisp and cold.