Vanilla Petits Pots de Crème

Either you like custard desserts, or you don't. I do. Very much so. Especially when they're in pretty, little bowls and simple to make. Now that I have learned just how easy it is to make pots de crème, I fear I may be in trouble. I mean I can easily see myself whipping these up on a total whim...frequently. In fact, I'll now confess that I've made them three times in the last week (gasp!). The first go was the whole "trial and error, I'm figuring these out" routine. The second time they were pretty damn good, and I served them after dinner to a dear friend who loved them and insisted on bringing two home - one for her daughter and another for her mom. And the third time was for entertaining again a couple of nights later and I nailed them. I'm very excited to branch out of my vanilla comfort zone and try different essences, although truth be told - these are so lovely precisely because of their simplicity. 
                    2 eggs and 1 egg white
                    2 cups whole milk
                    1/3 cup sugar
                    1 vanilla bean

Preheat the oven to 320. 

Set four to six ramekins (depending on the size) in a large baking dish.

Bring the milk and vanilla bean to a boil in a heavy saucepan and then remove from the heat. Allow to infuse, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain and set aside.

Beat the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar in a medium bowl. Then add the hot milk slowly while continuing to beat.

Fill the baking dish with hot water so that the ramekins are halfway immersed. Pour the milk mixture into the ramekins and skim any foam from the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean and the middle of the creams is still moving a bit. Let cool, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Makes 4-6 petits pots de crème.

From La Tartine Gourmande.

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