Snipped from a convo on the doormat, thought someone here may enjoy it.
I'll let you in on a secret. Everyone thinks creme brûlée is fancy, but it's super easy. All you need to do is this; take a dozen egg yolks, and add about a cup and a half of sugar, whip them with a whisk until everything is nice and smooth. The mixture should be thick enough that if you drag your finger across it, it takes a moment for the surface to look smooth again.
Take a quart of cream, and cook it until it comes to a boil. If you want to flavor the creme brûlée, you can add it to the cream now. Mint leaves or vanilla beans, as examples. Just make sure you strain them. Here's the tricky part; slowly add the cream to the egg mixture, while whistling it, in a slow, thin stream. Adding too much heat to the eggs at once will cook them, and you'll have gross scrambled eggs in cream. Yum.
Once that is done, congrats! You've have creme anglsise! It's a French pastry cream with a variety of uses. Cook it on the stove and you can make cream for pies and tarts. You can use it as a sauce, especially if you added that vanilla. Or you can put it in the oven and make creme brûlée.
Pour your mix into some nice ramicans or ceramic dishes, and... What was that? Normal people don't have ramicans handy? Just use coffee mugs then. Put your dishes in a deep pan with some water in it (preferably have water on the outside of the cup as high as the brûlée mix is inside. Cover it if you can, preferably with foil, and bake at 300 degrees for an hour to an hour fifteen minutes. Tadaa, you've got creme brûlée!
All that's left to do is torch the surface (sprinkling with sugar helps), and eat!
I've experimented a lot with these, and found some really fun variations;
A pack or two of powdered apple cider in the boiling cream and some Carmel mixed in with the eggs = caramel apple creme brûlée
Any kind of flavored liquior after forming the anglaise = various fruit flavors.
Two tablespoons peanut butter with the yolks, spoonful of Kelly in the coffee cups before pouring the mix in = peanut butter jelly dessert
Green tea in the cream = YUM.