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Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Put the cream, milk and vanilla pod into a pan and heat to boiling point. Cover and leave to infuse for 10 mins. Whisk the egg yolks and 3 tbsp of sugar together until pale and thick. Add the vanilla extract and pour the boiling cream onto the mixture. Stir well, then pour into two ramekins. Place the ramekins in a bain marie and cook in the oven for about 40 mins or until just set. Leave to cool.
Heat the grill. Sprinkle the cold brûlée with a thin, even layer of sugar, and caramelise under the very hot grill (or use a blowtorch). Repeat several times until you have a golden crackling topping. Leave to cool and serve within 2 hrs with warm almond puff pastry sticks (see below).