Basic Crème Anglaise
Creme anglaise is a stovetop custard dessert sauce with a rich, creamy vanilla flavor. It’s delicious with chocolate or fruit (especially berries). It’s also very similar to a vanilla ice cream base, so once you get this recipe down, making your own ice cream is a snap!
1. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar.
2. In a sauce pan combine the heavy cream and the seeds of the half vanilla bean (how to use vanilla beans). Stir to distribute the seeds. Heat the cream mixture just until it starts to steam.
3. Prepare an ice bath large enough to hold a bowl, you’ll want to chill the sauce down as soon as it reaches the correct consistency.
4. Once the cream has begun to steam, temper it into the egg yolk mixture: pour it into the egg mixture in a very slow stream while whisking constantly. Continue until all the cream has been mixed in. (Why temper custard bases?)
5. Place the bowl with the egg mixture over a pot filled with boiling water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. You want the steam to heat the bowl.
6. Cook the sauce, stirring constantly, until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (aka “napper”).
7. Immediately pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a fresh bowl on top of the ice water bath. Stir it to reduce the temperature quickly (else it will continue to carryover cook).
8. Once the sauce has cooled to at least room temperature, move it to your refrigerator to chill completely before serving.