*The success of many custard recipes (crème brûlée, flan, cheesecake) depends on baking in a water bath, which allows these delicate desserts to cook more evenly and slowly. We’ve always called for adding boiling water to the roasting pan for the bath, but when we were developing our recipe for Lemon Pudding Cakes (see related content), we found that pouring cold water into the pan delivered better results: a bottom pudding layer that was gently and evenly cooked, and a top cake layer that was perfectly baked and nicely browned. (Source: Cooks Illustrated)
If you don't own a kitchen torch, you can place the ramekins under the broiler for a few seconds, but it doesn't work as well. I bought a kitchen torch at Chef Toys, but they're available on Amazon, Crate n' Barrel and other kitchenware stores.