1/2 of a vanilla bean
2 cups whole milk
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
5 cups very hot tap water
Raspberries, for garnish
. Heat oven to 350 degree F. Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with paper towels.
2. Split vanilla bean in half. Scrape out seeds, then add seeds and bean to a small, heavy saucepan. Whisk in milk. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Heat the milk gently in a small saucepan just until it reaches simmering. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
3. Whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk into yolk mixture; then whisk the yolk mixture into the hot milk in the saucepan. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a 4-cup glass measuring cup to remove any cooked pieces of egg.
4. Put six 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups in paper- towel-lined pan. Divide mixture equally among the ramekins.
5. Place baking pan with ramekins on middle rack in oven. Carefully pour hot water into baking pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of ramekins.
6. Bake pots de creme in water bath in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until centers are just set. Remove baking pan from oven; carefully remove ramekins from water bath to cooling racks. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 3 hours or overnight. Garnish with raspberries.