Classic Vanilla Custard
This is also called "Custard Sauce."
- 2 1/4 cups milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- If using a vanilla bean, split it lengthwise, then scrape with the back edge
of a knife and add to the cream - seeds, pod and all. If you are using vanilla extract,
add it after cooking.
- In a heavy saucepan, barely boil the milk and the prepared
- Meanwhile, set a large fine mesh strainer over a bowl set in a larger bowl of
- In the top of a double boiler, whisk the yolks and sugar by hand or with a
portable electric mixer until thick and smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Slowly whisk in
the hot milk and vanilla bean. Cook in the double boiler set over simmering water,
stirring gently and constantly all around the bottom and corners with a wooden spatula.
Eventually the foam will subside. The Creme Anglaise is done when it coats a wooden
spoon without bare spots, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Immediately pour through the strainer.
If you are using vanilla extract, add it now.
- Pour custard into individual dessert
bowls or into a large serving bowl. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and chill. Custard
sets in 4 to 6 hours, depending on the size of the container.
- Serve warm or cold.
Classic Almond Custard: Replace vanilla extract
or vanilla bean with an equal amount of almond extract.
Classic Bourbon Custard: Halve or omit vanilla
flavoring and gently stir in 2 teaspoons Kentucky bourbon if serving warm, 1 tablespoon
if serving cold.
Classic Brandy Custard: Halve or omit vanilla
flavoring and gently stir in 2 teaspoons randy if serving warm, 1 tablespoon brandy
if serving cold.
Classic Rum Custard: Halve or omit vanilla
flavoring and gently stir in 2 teaspoons dark rum if serving warm, 1 tablespoon
dark rum if serving cold.
You can use any of the following spirits by using the amounts shown above:
Creme de Banana, Creme de Menthe, Southern Comfort, amaretto or Grand Marnier.