Spread the brown sugar on a large plate or baking sheet and let dry, uncovered, about 3 hours. When it is sufficiently dried, it will feel dry and sandy. Pass the dried brown sugar through a sieve to remove any lumps. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In a small pot over medium heat, combine cream with the vanilla seeds, the pod and the sugar. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan. Be sure not to let the cream boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Continue to whisk while slowly pouring the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Strain the mixture into a large measuring cup with a spout through a fine mesh sieve to remove the vanilla bean pieces and any overcooked eggs.
Place 9 (5-ounce) shallow ramekins on a baking pan with 1-inch high sides. Transfer the baking pan to the oven. Fill the ramekins to the top. (It is important to fill the molds to the top, as the custard will lose volume as it bakes). Pour enough hot water into the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until set and trembles slightly when shaken, about 40 minutes.
Remove the ramekins from the water bath and place on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Chill for 2 hours or up to 3 days before serving. The custards will finish setting in the refrigerator.
Heat broiler. Just before serving, sift about 2 tablespoons dried brown sugar over each custard. Transfer the ramekins to a clean baking sheet. Place the baking sheet about 4 inches from the broiler and broil until the sugar is caramelized, about 40 seconds. Place each creme brulee on a small dessert plate, and serve immediately.
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