Rich and creamy, these gingery custards can be prepared and baked a day or two ahead, but wait until you’re ready to serve them to caramelize the sugar topping. You’ll need a mini blowtorch for this step.
3 cups heavy cream
½ cup milk
½ cup granulated sugar (#1)
1 vanilla bean, split
12 egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar (#2)
3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
Preheat conventional oven to 260°F. If convection, turn off fan or 250°F on low fan.
1. Split and scrape vanilla bean into a sauce pan. Combine heavy cream, milk, ginger and sugar #1.
2. Heat to boiling point. Promptly remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar #2 until creamy.
4. While whisking continuously, slowly pour half of the hot cream mix into the egg yolk mix, in a steady stream.
5. Repeat with second half of cream mix. Be careful to not curdle the eggs.
6. Refrigerate mix overnight to deepen flavors.
7. Pour mix through fine mesh strainer. Discard all remaining debris.
8. In equal amounts, add chopped crystallized ginger to 4-oz oven-proof cups, ramekins or small soufflé bowls.
9. Pour custard into each of the baking cups. Remove any foam or bubbles that form on top.
10. Place containers in a water-bath pan or high-sided roasting pan. Fill pan with water up to 2/3rd of the height of the baking cups.
11. Place water bath in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until crème has set.
12. Remove from oven and allow cups to cool completely.
13. Take out of water bath and place in refrigerator to set.
1. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top and gently swirl to evenly coat.
2. With a torch or under a broiler, allow sugars to caramelize evenly to create a hard shell. Remove from heat promptly.
3. Garnish with additional strips of crystallized ginger and fresh berries. Serve immediately.