1: Put the cream and vanilla pod into a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
2: Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl until smoothly blended.
3: Bring the vanilla-infused cream back to the boil, then slowly pour onto the beaten egg mixture, whisking as you do so to combine.
4: Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook, stirring constantly, over a medium-low heat until the custard thickens and reaches 88ÆC (check the temperature with a digital probe).
5: Immediately remove from the heat and pass through a fine chinois into a clean bowl.
6: Press a layer of cling film onto the surface to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool for 20 minutes or until the custard is at room temperature.
7: Pour the custard into a high-powered jug blender (Vitamix) and blitz for 30 seconds; this will lighten it slightly.
8: Now pour the custard into crème brûlée dishes or ramekins, dividing it equally (about 125ml per dish).
9: Cover each dish with cling film, leaving a small gap on one side, to allow any moisture to evaporate.
10: Stand the dishes on a tray and place in the fridge to set; this will take about 3 hours.
11: When ready to serve, sprinkle a generous, even layer of demerara sugar over the surface of each set custard. Wipe the edge of the dish with a clean cloth.
12: Using a cook’s blowtorch, caramelise the sugar, starting from the edges and working towards the centre. Take the caramel to a dark brown – this dish is all about balancing the rich creamy egg custard with the slightly bitter caramel flavour.
13: Leave to cool for about 5 minutes before serving