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Classic Vanilla Custard

This is also called "Custard Sauce."

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, barely boil the milk and the prepared vanilla bean.
  3. Meanwhile, set a large fine mesh strainer over a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice.
  4. 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
  5.  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.
  6. Immediately pour through the strainer. If you are using vanilla extract, add it now.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.


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