We have to be very careful not to have leftovers whenever we make a batch of crème anglaise, otherwise we find ourselves sneaking spoonfuls whenever we pass the fridge. Also called English or stirred custard, this is a rich sweet sauce perfect for drizzling over fruit, a slice of warm cake, or heck, even pancakes!
What You Need
1 1/2 cups whole milk, cream, or half-and-half
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Metal bowl set over ice water bath
1. Warm the milk or cream in the sauce pan and remove from heat. Make sure it's cool enough to touch before adding it to the eggs. (You can skip this step, but warming the milk separately helps cut down on cooking time)
2. In a medium, heat-proof bowl, whisk the yolks together and then whisk in the sugar and pinch of salt. Continue whisking until the mixture turns pale yellow and forms ribbons on the surface.
3. Whisking steadily, pour the milk into the egg-sugar mixture in a steady stream.
4. Pour the mixture back into the sauce pan and set over medium heat. Stir constantly in an "S" shape to make sure the bottom doesn't scald or the eggs curdle.
5. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens enough to fully coat the back of your spoon and is as smooth as silk.
6.You can also check the temperature with an instant-read or candy thermometer — it should be at least 156°F and not exceed 180°. (The higher the temperature, the thicker the final cooled custard will be.)
7. Strain the custard to remove any bits of eggs that may have curdled and stir in the vanilla. Doing this over an ice bath helps stop the cooking process so the custard doesn't over-cook.
• Crème anglaise will keep refrigerated for about one week.
• If you'd like to flavor your custard, you can infuse herbs, spices, or other flavors into the milk in Step 1, or add flavoring extracts along with the vanilla in Step 6.
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(Images: Faith Durand)