Some recipes achieve absolute perfection and for me this is one of them. The first time I ever made this recipe, I knew I would not need to look further for another creme brulee recipe. I found this recipe in one of my Culinary Institute of America Cookbooks, Baking with the CIA. I highly recommend their series of cookbooks. All of the recipes I have used have been wonderful and generally exceed my expectations. This recipe is the best of the best in my opinion. Over time, this has become one of my signature dinner party desserts. This recipe MUST be made using a real vanilla bean, using vanilla extract would be a disservice to the recipe and would not produce the intended results. The book recommends two variations instead of the vanilla bean, one substituting toasted coconut and the other cinnamon sticks. I would recommend taking the alternate route if you don't have a real vanilla bean. Maybe some day I will try the variations but for know I am enamoured with the vanilla bean version and its perfection.
Here is a link to the recipe: