07 June 2012

Custard Sauce - Creme Anglaise


Custard sauce, the traditional accompaniment for English puddings/desserts, is also the perfect partner for lots of other desserts as well. Two weeks ago I posted angel food cake, which called for 7 egg whites, and said I would soon post the custard sauce, which calls for 7 egg yolks. Food is too precious to waste.

Lots of people use Bird's custard powder, which is eggless, cornstarch-based and now made with non-hydrogenated vegetable oil and no artificial color, making it a good choice for those allergic to eggs. In fact, Mr. Bird developed it in 1837 because his wife was allergic to eggs. But we had no egg allergies in our family, so ...

Only if I were allergic to eggs could I be satisfied with an eggless custard. The flavor of real custard is incomparable, and it really doesn't take much longer to make than a packaged mix. Honestly, it's ready in minutes and makes the simplest dessert, like the organic blueberries and Rainier cherries above, something quite special. 

Custard Sauce

(Makes about 3 1/2 cups)

3 cups organic milk (I use 2%)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 large organic egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 In heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, heat milk just to a simmer.

2 While milk is heating, in 1.5-quart bowl whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in yolks until mixture is smooth.

3 Whisk milk into egg mixture, then pour mixture into the saucepan. Over medium heat, keep whisking and cook until the mixture thickens and registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes; do not boil.

Note: Love my Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen Instant-Read Thermometer from ThermoWorks!

4 Strain into 1-quart bowl. Stir in vanilla extract. Cool quickly by setting bowl in larger bowl of ice and water for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If not cooling quickly, place a round of buttered parchment paper on the surface of the custard to keep a skin from forming, cover bowl, and refrigerate until needed, up to 2 or 3 days.

28 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

That looks perfect for the strawberries that I'm getting from my garden!

Jean said...

Thanks, Judy. And it has a lot less fat and calories than whipped cream!

Lauren said...

Is it wrong that I now want to put that on EVERYTHING? Looks incredible, thanks for sharing!!

Jean said...

No, Lauren, it's not wrong - I DO put it on everything!

Sandra said...

that sauce would be good on just about anything, including a SPOON. LOL

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

I'm game. Sauces are the spice of life...um, wait a minute. Well, you know what I mean. Love your photography. BTW, who is holding the spoon?

Jean said...

Thanks, Sandra! Yep, I finished up the last of it just on a spoon!

Jean said...

Sully, thank you! When it comes to the food and the photography, I do it all. I was holding the spoon, trying to control the custard pour, with a very awkward grip on the camera. Must get myself a decent tripod at some point.

Eileen said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm ashamed to say I do use Bird's custard powder for pouring over puddings, but I do love an egg custard in a pastry case sprinkled with nutmeg.

Jean said...

Eileen, no need to be ashamed! Lots of people love their Bird's. When you say "egg custard in a pastry case," do you mean a stirred custard poured into a prebaked pastry case or the egg mixture poured raw into the pastry case and baked? (I like both!)

Eileen said...

For a baked egg custard I pour the egg and milk mixture through a sieve into the pastry case, sprinkle with nutmeg and bake. Delicious.

Jean said...

Yes, that is sooo good. Sometimes I pour the mixture into 6-ounce baking cups and have little crustless baked custards. We had a little confusion about custard pie when I was a girl. My mother (English) called a pie where you strained the uncooked egg and milk mixture into the unbaked pastry case "custard pie." But when my father (Southern) said "custard pie" he meant a cooked custard poured into a prebaked pastry case and topped with either whipped cream or meringue. So I took to calling "her" kind "baked custard pie."

Debra said...

This looks fabulous! We are waiting on a blood test from our allergist that I am hoping tells us my daughter out grew her egg allergy. If it says that, we are making THIS to celebrate!

Jean said...

Debra, that makes me so happy! Hope the test results go your way and that this recipe turns out well for you.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

That's it Jean. I have to stop viewing Delightful Repast when I get home on a friday night. My tummy's growling and my mouth is watering thinking on this custard sauce. Of course I just got my delivery of a dozen home raised chicken eggs--and I'm heading out into the kitchen to cook it now. Your recipes are turning into the weekend treats for my Hubby. Yumm as usual!

Jean said...

Thanks so much, Sue! Glad you like my recipes! This is low in sugar, but you can lower it even more and still it will taste wonderful.

Sippity Sup said...

is there a trick to crime anglais that is eluding me. Mine has never been properly velvety. GREG

Jean said...

Have you tried it my way, Greg, with just a tiny bit of cornstarch? Perhaps that is what makes it velvety. I know when I've had others' creme anglaise made with just egg yolks, it always lacks the proper consistency (velvetiness?), no matter how many egg yolks were used. I hope my recipe will work well for you.

LANA said...

You are right, that sauce would go lovely with strawberries. I'll be referring to your recipe for the custard sauce, thanks!

Jean said...

Thanks, Lana! I really must try strawberries in the garden sometime. These past few years, I don't seem to grow anything but tomatoes and herbs.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Oh, Yay! Here it is. I'm going to make the angel cake and custard this week. Thanks, Jean =)

Jean said...

That's wonderful, Ruth! AND you'll be able to put brisket on the menu again soon! It will arrive well frozen, so no rush to cook it. I hope the cake and custard turn out well for you.

Debra said...

The tests showed she is no longer allergic to egg yolks, just whites, so we CAN make this to celebrate! I wish more recipes just used the yolks, but that is way more calorific!

Jean said...

Debra, that's progress! Would much rather be allergic to the white than the yolk. Friday I'll be posting my chocolate ice cream, made with egg yolks. All my best to your daughter!

La Tea Dah said...

Such a delicious sounding custard! And it's pretty as well --- nicely accenting all sorts of yummy things! Thank you!

Jean said...

Thanks so much, La Tea Dah! Hope you try it soon.

Carole said...

Jean, such lovely work. Thanks for bringing it on over. Cheers

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Carole. Don't know how anyone could live without a good custard sauce!

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