I got this recipe from a Good Housekeeping magazine a couple years ago. I only made one modification, borrowed from the authentic stovetop recipe, which is to pulverize the sugar before broiling it. It’s easier to apply. This microwave method makes it impossible to overheat the creams and clean up is easy. More importantly, no compromise is made on the taste.
1 cup half and half
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar, processed in blender to make a powder
1. Preheat oven to 325®F. Into a 13”x9” baking pan, pour 3 ½ cup hot tap water; place in oven.
2. In microwave-safe 2-cup liquid measuring cup, heat creams in microwave on medium (50% power) for 5 minutes; remove from microwave; stir in vanilla.
3. Meanwhile, in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk egg yolks and granulated sugar until well blended. Slowly whisk in warm cream until combined; with spoon, skim off foam.
4. Partially pull out oven rack with baking pan. Place six 4-ounce ramekins in the baking pan. Pour cream mixture into ramekins (mixture should come almost to tops of ramekins for successful broiling later). Carefully push in rack and bake custards 30 minutes or until just set but centers jiggle slightly. Remove ramekin from water and place on wire rack. Cool 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
5. About an hour before serving, place rack on its highest position and preheat broiler. Place brown sugar in sieve and shake over tops of custards to cover evenly. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and broil for 3 minutes. Refrigerate immediately 1 hour to cool custards and allow sugar to form a crust.