This is one of my favorite recipes for crème brûlée. It's a Williams-Sonoma card recipe that I picked up when I bought a brème brûlée set for my mom for her birthday, complete with kitchen torch. And yes, that is my favorite part of the whole process: the carmelization of the sugar.
2 1/4 cups (680 mL) heavy cream
2 T dried lavender flowers
5 egg yolks
2/3 cup (155g) sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
turbinado sugar for carmelizing
Preheat the oven to 325F (165C). Line a baking pan that is 2 inches (5cm) deep with a kitchen towel. Have a pot of boiling water ready.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream and lavender flowers and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla until blended. Slowly add the lavender cream, whisking constantly until blended. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl (preferably with a pouring lip) and divide among 4 large or 6 medium ramekins. Skim bubbles off the surface of the cream in each ramekin. Place the ramekins in the prepared baking pan and add boiling water to fill the pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake until the custards are just set, about 40 minutes.
Remove the ramekins from the pan and transfer to a wire rack. Let the custards cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Just before serving, sprinkle 2 tsp of turbinado sugar over the surface of each custard. Carmelize with a kitchen torch or broiler in the oven.