Instead of baking cream in a dish, gently scoop out fresh peaches, fill with
a creamy custard, and sprinkle with sugar before browning with a kitchen torch.
That first crack of caramelized sugar signals many good bites to come.
This custard would also be good in individual bowls, topped with bananas or other
fruit, and sprinkled with sugar before browning.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
6 whole ripe peaches
4 to 6 teaspoons sugar
Place cream in a medium saucepan. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape
in seeds, and add bean pod; bring to a simmer, and turn off heat.
Combine 1/3 cup sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl, whisking until smooth.
Slowly add warm cream to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Set bowl containing egg
mixture over a saucepan of simmering water. (Do not allow bowl to touch water.)
Whisk mixture constantly about 9 minutes or until it reaches 180 degrees F and coats
back of spoon.
Remove bowl from heat, and place in an ice bath, stirring occasionally
with a spatula; allow mixture to cool completely. (Or cool to room temperature,
cover, and chill overnight.) Mixture will thicken slightly while cooling.
Cut tops off peaches, and carefully hollow them out, discarding pit. (Slice a
thin portion from bottoms, if needed, to help peaches sit upright.) Fill each peach
with about 1/4 cup custard, smoothing so mixture is even with top of peach. Refrigerate
until ready to serve, up to 3 hours.
Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar onto each custard-filled peach; caramelize sugar
using a kitchen torch, keeping torch moving for even coloring.