1Preheat oven to 250. Pour cream into heavy saucepan. Cut the whole vanilla bean in half & store one half for another use. Split the other half & scrape out seeds into the cream...put the bean hull in pot as well. Heat just until the boiling point. Remove from heat & remove bean hull & discard.
2In medium bowl whisk together eggs & granulated sugar. Slowly whisk 1 cup hot cream into egg mixture (temper egg first) until sugar dissolves.
3Slowly whisk in remaining cream & evenly divide mixture into six 6oz custard cups. Place cups in baking pan & carefully pour enough hot water to come halfway up sides of cups.
4Bake on 250 for 1 hr & 15 min or until custard has set. Carefully remove from oven & cool for a bit.
5Cover cups w/plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to use.
6To caramelize top: Heat oven on broil. Sprinkle custard with the sugar in the raw & broil until sugar melts & bubbles, being careful not to burn. Serve warm.
7You can use one of those hand held torches to caramelize top if you desire.