YIELD: 4

5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
½ cup sugar
3 Tbsps. cornstarch
2 cups heavy cream
¾ to 1 cup champagne
1 vanilla bean (or 1 ½ tsps. vanilla extract)
1 or 2 Tbsps. butter, cold
20 red or green seedless grapes, halved
special equipment: 4 (6 oz.) flameproof ramekins; small blowtorch

1. In a bowl combine egg yolks, whole egg, sugar and cornstarch. In a medium sized pot, combine cream, champagne and vanilla, and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk ½ cup of this hot liquid into the egg mixture, stirring constantly to temper. Add the tempered egg mixture to the cream mixture remaining in the pot.

2. Lower heat to low and whisk mixture until thick. Strain and then whisk in 1 to 2 Tbsps. cold butter.

3. Place grapes in ramekins and then pour mixture over the grapes. Allow to set. Before serving, sprinkle each ramekin evenly with 1 tsp. sugar, then move blowtorch flame evenly back and forth until the sugar is caramelized.

Photo: California Table Grape Commission  Recipe: Chef Malachi Harlan