How to Make It
Place cream in a medium saucepan. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape in seeds, and add bean pod; bring to a simmer, and turn off heat.
Combine 1/3 cup sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl, whisking until smooth. Slowly add warm cream to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Set bowl containing egg mixture over a saucepan of simmering water. (Do not allow bowl to touch water.) Whisk mixture constantly about 9 minutes or until it reaches 180° and coats back of spoon. Remove bowl from heat, and place in an ice bath, stirring occasionally with a spatula; allow mixture to cool completely. (Or cool to room temperature, cover, and chill overnight.) Mixture will thicken slightly while cooling.
Cut tops off peaches, and carefully hollow them out, discarding pit. (Slice a thin portion from bottoms, if needed, to help peaches sit upright.) Fill each peach with about 1/4 cup custard, smoothing so mixture is even with top of peach. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 hours.
Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar onto each custard-filled peach; caramelize sugar using a kitchen torch, keeping torch moving at all times for even coloring. Serve within 1 hour of browning sugar.
Il Palio Ristorante, Chapel Hill, North Carolina