Creme Brulee

Bistro de Paris, EPCOT

  12      egg yolks
  1       cup  sugar
  1        cup  half-and-half
  3        cups  heavy cream
  1        vanilla bean
  8        tablespoons  brown sugar
          Raspberries for garnish -- optional
          Fresh mint leaves for garnish -- optional

Whisk the eggs with the sugar until well blended.  Incorporate the
half-and-half and heavy cream. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds  into the mixture along with the vanilla pod. Refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Remove the vanilla bean pod, stir the mixture, and pour  into 8 individual
6-ounce ramekins placed in a baking pan. Add warm  water to the baking pan so it reaches one-third of the way up the ramekins. Cover with  another pan and bake for 90 minutes, or until the custard is set but still jiggly in  the center.
Remove from oven, take the custard out of the water  bath, and cool to room
temperature. Wrap in plastic and chill.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to broil. Sprinkle a  heaping tablespoon of brown sugar on top of each brulee and pat down evenly.  Place the ramekins on a baking sheet under the broiler until the sugar has  melted. This takes 1 to 2 minutes and the sugar easily burns, so watch the brulees  constantly (if the sugar burns, scrape it off and try again).
Let the sugar cool and garnish the custards, if desired,  with fresh
raspberries and sprigs of mint.