Corn Five Ways: Corn creme brulee
Yield: 6-8 servings
1/4 cup white granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
1/4 vanilla bean, scraped
2 cups heavy cream
1 corn on the cob, kernels removed and cob chopped
Pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
2. In a small bowl, mix together two tablespoons of sugar with the vanilla bean seeds until they are evenly dispersed throughout the sugar.
3. In a small saucepan, combine heavy cream, corn kernels, chopped cobs, salt, and vanilla sugar. Bring to a simmer; immediately turn off the heat, cover and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Once steeping time has passed, pour the cream through a sieve, pressing the kernels with the back of a wooden spoon so they can release any liquids.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar (3 tablespoons) and egg yolks. Temper the mixture by ladling about ¼ cup of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking the entire time. Add remaining warm cream mixture and whisk until completely combined. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to catch any eggy bits that might have become solid. Divide the custard between ramekins.
5. Place ramekins in a large baking dish. Transfer baking dish to the rack of the oven and then, using a kettle, pour enough water into the baking pan so it reaches about half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until firm but still jiggly. Carefully remove the warm ramekins and allow to cool slightly on the kitchen counter before transferring them to the fridge to chill for 2-3 hours.
6. Sprinkle about one-and-a-half teaspoons of sugar over each custard. Using a torch, that's about 1-2 inches above the surface of the custard, consistently move the flame until the sugar bubbles, turns a light golden brown and creates a smooth surface. Serve promptly.