3 tablespoons plus ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
2 tablespoons honey
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, egg yolks, and 3 tablespoons of the granulated sugar until smooth. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds, and honey to a simmer.
Drizzle a small stream of the warm cream into the cornstarch mixture while whisking constantly. Repeat until the two are fully combined. Add the liquid back to the saucepan and bring it to a very low boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. (You should only see one big bubble every few seconds.) Cook for another minute. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the custard into four 4-ounce ramekins. Cover ramekins with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Set a small bowl of ice water by the stove. In a small saucepan, cook the remaining ¾ cup sugar over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it turns an amber color and smells toasty, 6 to 7 minutes. Immediately plunge the bottom of the pan in the ice water to stop the cooking. Working quickly, pour approximately 2 tablespoons of the sugar syrup on top of each of the custards. (Caution: The sugar will be very hot. Do not let it touch your fingers!) Carefully swirl each custard so the sugar covers it evenly.
Chill the custards, uncovered, just until the sugar is set, 15 to 25 minutes. Do not let them stand much longer or the sugar will start to liquefy. Serve immediately.
Note: If you would like to work ahead, prepare the custards the day before and wait to apply the sugar 30 minutes before before serving.
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