1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon rose water*
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon
1/3-1/2 cup raw turbinado or brown sugar
Heat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a heavy-bottomed medium non-reactive saucepan, heat cream with vanilla
bean over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring to ensure it does not burn;
do not let boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove and discard
the vanilla bean, or save for another use. Strain cream through a fine mesh
sieve (if using vanilla bean). Add desired amount of rose water.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with an electric mixer on high
speed for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup plus
1 tablespoon sugar. Add about half the cream mixture, a little at a time, to
the egg mixture, whisking until well blended. Then pour the egg mixture into
the remaining cream mixture. Stir until completely blended.
Pour the custard into 4 (9-ounce) or 6 (6ounce) ramekins or custard cups.
Place the dishes in large baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to
come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until
the mixture is set in the center (it should still wiggle when shaken).
Carefully remove the dishes from the baking pan. Let cool to room temperature
and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
Let crème brûlée stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.
Divide 1/3 to 1/2 cup turbinado or light brown sugar in a thin, even layer
over each custard, covering it completely. To caramelize the sugar, light a
culinary propane torch and hold it so the flame just touches the surface. Alternatively,
it may be caramelized under the broiler.
Start at the center and spiral out toward the edges of the ramekins until
the sugar melts and lightly browns. If the sugar begins to burn, pull the torch
away and blow on the sugar to extinguish the flame.
Garnish with a fresh rose petal. Serve immediately.