05 July 2016

Making Crème Anglaise

It's been a while since my last post: sorry, everyone. Since I got back from Paris in April (sigh) life seems to be busy busy. Not that it's been all work. I finished a needlepoint, broke out my bead supplies for some necklace making, re-potted plants, worked on a paint-by-numbers, and am still sorting through photos from my trip (I have a tendency to go a bit overboard with a camera). I'm also working hard on editing my novel (stay tuned). And when I can, I do a little cooking.

A few days ago I decided to try making the Sweet Jam Crêpes with Crème Anglaise from Crêpes (edited by Camille Le Foll). The crêpes themselves were just okay, but the Crème Anglaise, a sweet vanilla sauce, was worth sharing.

You don't need many ingredients to make Crème Anglaise: eggs, vanilla, sugar, milk, and cornstarch

The recipe uses only egg yolks; I saved the whites to make meringues

I liked the effect of the steamy edges in this photo :)
Here you can see the Crème is starting to thicken and cling to the sides of the pan and the whisk. I cooked it for a few more minutes after this.

The completed Crème was still on the runny side, similar in consistency to what's shown in the book.

I found the recipe a little vague, but manageable (although I wouldn't recommend this book to cooking newbies). I'd never made Crème Anglaise before and I didn't know how thick it's supposed to be. Using the photo in the book as a guide, I left it on the runny side. I don't see why you couldn't keep cooking until you get whatever consistency you prefer (and if you cook it long enough, you'll end up with a delicious vanilla pudding). Serve Crème Anglaise with crêpes, waffles, pancakes, or fresh fruit (I had some left over and it was excellent with sliced strawberries). I think it would also be good served with cake.

Crème Anglaise

[My notes in brackets]

3 egg yolks
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract and a little of the milk [I used 1/4 cup of the milk].

Bring the remaining milk to a boil in a heavy-based saucepan. Pour the hot milk over the egg yolks mixture, stirring, and then pour it back into the pan [This is called tempering and the book neglects to mention that you need to add the hot milk **slowly** to the egg mixture or you'll end up with scrambled eggs. You can pour the hot milk in a thin stream while you stir, or you can add the hot milk to the egg mixture a tablespoon at a time until all the milk has been added]. Cook over a very gentle heat, stirring until the Crème Anglaise thickens. [The time depends on how thick you want the resulting Crème. To get it to the stage where it has thickened and clings to the back of a spoon takes about 20 minutes.] (Do not boil or the mixture might curdle.)

Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments.

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