serves 4-5


For the Basil Creme Brulee

2 cups heavy cream
½ vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup sugar
5 egg yolks
3 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
Tiny pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar for caramel topping
Thinly sliced heirloom tomato for garnish- bruleed

Special Equipment

Blow torch


For the Basil Creme Brulee

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Parboil cream in a saucepan over medium heat (small bubbles will form on the sides of the pan). Scrap the vanilla bean seeds into the cream as well as the scrapped pod and stir. Add chopped basil and bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit for 15-20 min to all flavors to infuse.
Meanwhile, mix the sugar and egg yolk together. Slowly add the hot cream mixture to the sugar/egg yolks. Pass combined mixture through a fine sieve and into a pitcher or measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring. (Then stir in the salt and vanilla extract if using instead of the bean)
Arrange 4 to 6 ramekins in a deep-sided baking dish. Pour custard into ramekins and add water to the baking dish to come half way up the ramekins. Cover with foil.
Bake until just set- 30-45 min (custard should be slightly jiggly when you shake it). Check the baking progress early on.
Remove the ramekins and cover ramekins individually with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at leas 3 hours or up to 2 days.
For the Caramelized crust: Place thinly sliced tomato on top of custard and sprinkle with sugar (for each ramekin). Using a blowtorch, slowly sweep the flame back and forth about 3 inches away from the surface until the sugar melts and caramelizes into a shiny brown color.

To Serve

Garnish with basil chiffonade or leaves.

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