4 cups (1 lt) whipping cream
2 cups (500 ml) California walnuts, toasted
2 tbsp (30 ml) walnut oil
12 egg yolks
1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Glazed Walnuts:
10 California walnut halves
5 ml maple syrup
Icing sugar, for dusting
175 ml granulated sugar, for caramelizing


  1. Toasting Walnuts: In large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast walnuts, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Combine cream, walnuts and walnut oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Heat to 100°C. Remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes to allow infusion of walnut flavour. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and keep warm. Discard walnuts.
  3. Beat egg yolks, sugar and vanilla bean in a mixing bowl until pale and thick. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Gradually pour the cream into the egg mixture, whisking until combined.
  4. Pour mixture into 10 (175 ml) ramekins. Place ramekins in a large baking pan; pour boiling water into the pan to halfway up sides. Bake at 150°C about 50 to 60 minutes, or until custard is just set. Remove from oven and set ramekins on a rack to cool slightly. Transfer to refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  5. Glazed Walnuts: Meanwhile place walnuts in small dry skillet over medium heat. Stir a few minutes until fragrant. Stir maple syrup into walnuts and cook 1 minute, or until well-coated and syrup is absorbed into walnuts. Transfer to parchment paper-lined tray to cool. Dust lightly with icing sugar.
  6. Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar on each ramekin. Using a kitchen torch or oven broiler to brown and caramelize sugar. Immediately top with a glazed walnut.