There is something about the name, Creme Anglaise. It sounds as good as it tastes. I could honestly eat it alone, and often after a desert is finished you’ll see me scrapping the last bits of it off the plate. I find that is a nice accompaniment to rich desserts and can turn a great dessert into a “Wow” dessert.
- 1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
With a paring knife, scrape vanilla seeds free from the pod. Place seeds, bean pod, and milk in medium saucepan and heat mixture over medium heat until steaming, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Uncover, return the mixture to medium heat, and heat until streaming, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, and salt together in medium bowl until pale yellow in color, about 1 minute. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly. Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens slightly, coats back of spoon with a thin film, and registers 175 to 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Immediately pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl. Transfer to clean, airtight container, pressing a piece of plastic wrap flush against the surface to prevent sauce from forming a skin. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.
Be sure to heat the custard slowly, stirring continuously, over low heat. When stirring, run the spoon along the sides and bottom of the saucepan to prevent yolks from curdling.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated, December 2006