The whole of Europe calls it Creme Anglaise.
The Anglaises though, call it custard! If that is not ironic, I am not sure what is!
Here is the easy and fool proof recipe I use when I need make Creme Anglaise to on deserts.
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Quantity: This mix makes roughly 250 ml
1. I find a whisk to be very useful tool when making this recipe, as it breaks down any possible lump build up.
2. I normally use a large bowl for the mixing off the heat as otherwise you run the risk of making a mess in the kitchen when you start bringing things together.
3. For the pan where you will heat up the milk and then the mix , I would advice not to use one with a thin bottom as milk may burn. Try to find one with a thick bottom that will difuse the heat reducing the risk that comes form uneven spread of the heat.
If you don’t have a pan with a think bottom, get yourself a wooden spoon and do stir the milk constantly as you heat it.
4. If you make this recipe and one which allows you to use only egg whites on the same day (such as meringue or croquetes) you will make the hens who laid the eggs proud.
300 ml full fat milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
3 large egg yolks
50 grams white sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons corn flour
For my recipe, I choose to use vanilla bean paste most of the time, this will not be incorporated onto the mix until much later. So please bear this in mind.
If you chose to use a vanilla bean, make sure that you cut it in half (legthwise) and you scrape the seeds onto the milk. You can then add the bean to the milk too.
In the sauce pan, bring the vanilla flavoured milk to boiling point in a low heat ( this is, when you begin to see bubbles forming at the top layer) .
As you wait, mix the egg yolks and the sugar together in a bowl forming a light yellow paste.
In a separated bowl, sift the corn flour and the flour together and add this mix onto the egg paste whisking it well until smooth.
When the milk begins to boil, remove it from the heat ( switching the heat off is not enough as the hob will still be hot, so move the pan from the hot area all together) , remove the vanilla bean from the milk and add the egg mixture into the milk whisking constantly to avoid egg curdling. If you get an uneven mix, and whisking fails, you can pass it through a sift.
Bring the mixture back to the heat (medium) and heat up until you bring it to boiling point. Remember to always stir it. Leave it boiling for a minute. You will notice that it thickens. Remove from the heat. If like me, you rather use a vanilla bean paste, or even an extract, this is when you should add it.
You can prepare this in advance to make a Triffle, or even as a profiterole filler, for example, but it is important that if so, you do cover the creme to avoid it drying out and forming a crust.
Photograph by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Recipe Cristina Lanz-Azcarate adapted from the one found at http://www.joyofbaking.com
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