This recipe is exactly what creme brulee is supposed to taste like. The custard is creamy with great vanilla flavor and the top is crisp, crunchy and sweet. You know it's perfect when you tap the sugar top with your spoon and it sounds like you're tapping on glass. Anything else is no good.
All you need is a little torch to crystallize the sugar so it turns into sugar glass. A double boiler will work in a pinch.
I used Alton Brown's recipe with one alteration. I didn't use a vanilla bean. I have some great vanilla paste that has the brown vanilla flecks in it so I used this instead. It works perfect. You can pick up a jar at Williams-Sonoma. It's way cheaper than buying vanilla beans and tastes great. I use it in the place of vanilla in practically every recipe that calls for vanilla.
Alton Brown's Creme Brulee
Click here for the recipe.