Banana Crème Brûlée  

(A recipe using a “kitchen torch”  — handy tool for caramelizing sugar atop a crème brûlée — If you do not have one, check alternate instructions under e.g. Clinkerdagger’s Burnt Crème)

Banana Crème Brûlée  

2 ripe bananas
4 egg yolks
2 ¼ cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup plus 8 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 300° F. and have a pot of boiling water ready.
Peel 1 banana and cut in thirds.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, cut banana and ¼ cup sugar; cook, stirring, until steam rises, 4-5 min. Let stand 10-15 min.
In a bowl, beat yolks and vanilla until blended. Strain cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl; discard cooked banana. Pour cream into yolks, a little at a time, stirring constantly until smooth; divide among four 6-oz. ramekins.
Line a 3″ deep baking pan with a kitchen towel, place ramekins in pan, and add boiling water to fill pan halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 300° F. until set, 30-35 min.
Remove ramekins from pan, cool to room temperature and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
Peel remaining banana and slice crosswise into ?-inch thick slices. Arrange 7 to 8 slices over the top of each crème brûlée and sprinkle 2 teaspoons sugar evenly over each surface. With a kitchen torch,* move flame continuously in small circles over surface until sugar melts and lightly browns.
Serve immediately. 

Yield:  Serves 4.

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