Crème brûlée consists of tick cream topped with a crisp surface of caramelized sugar. The bitter taste of the caramel is particularly appealing to adults.
© 2018 Hisako Ogita / Chronicle Books · Reproduced with permission.
Put the whipping cream and milk in a pot.
Scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod and put the entire vanilla pod into the pot. Heat until the cream starts to bubble around the edge of the pot.
Put the egg yolks in a bowl and add the 1 tablespoon (0.4 ounce/10 grams) granulated sugar. Whisk until the mixture appears white.
Pour the cream from step 1 into the mixture made in step 2. Add the rum (if using) and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
Pour the mixture into a heat-resistant container. Put it in a water bath and bake in the oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 30 minutes.
Once the custard is baked, sprinkle granulated sugar over the top while smoothing the surface. Burn the sugary surface with a kitchen torch. (If you do not have a kitchen torch, you can use the broiler.)