Heat heavy cream and vanilla extract in a sauce pan until hot, but not boiling.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and half of sugar until well mixed. Pour in the hot cream gradually, mixing continually.
Pour hot water into a large roasting pan. Place six ramekins into the pan (the water should come roughly halfway up the sides of the ramekins).
Pour the egg mixture into the ramekins and bake at 325˚F (165˚C) for 45 - 50 minutes. The crème brûlée should be set, but still a little jiggly in the middle.
Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan, allow to cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to three days.
Remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before browning the sugar on top. Spread a tablespoon of sugar on top of each crème brûlée.
Using a torch, melt the sugar to for a crispy top. If you don’t have a torch, you can broil the crème brûlée to melt the sugar. Keep an eye on it, to make sure you don’t over cook it. Allow the crème brûlée to sit for at least five minutes before serving.