This soft-set custard with its caramelized sugar crust looks like crème brulee. Not only is it simple and delicious, but it can be made ahead.
Whisk together eggs and sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
Heat cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until bubbles form around edge (will look like foam). Remove from heat; gradually whisk about ½ cup (125 mL) half & half into egg mixture. Whisk egg and half & half mixture into remaining cream in saucepan. Return saucepan to stovetop. Stir constantly, over medium-low heat, until mixture thickens slightly, about 7 to 9 minutes. (Don’t overcook or custard may become curdled-looking.) Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
Pour or ladle custard into four 7 or 8-oz (220 or 250 mL) ramekins or custard cups, or six 4-oz (125 mL) ramekins or custard cups. Let cool, then cover and store in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Custard will thicken a little more as it cools.
Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tsp (5 mL) brown sugar over top of each custard. Use a mini butane torch to melt and caramelize the sugar. Or place the custards briefly under the broiler, watching closely, until tops are lightly browned.
Tip: If desired, instead of pouring into individual ramekins and caramelizing, custard can be chilled in a medium bowl, and then spooned over fruit cake.