Texas Farmers Market Leaderboard Oct 2020

Stirred Custard: Crème Anglaise, Vanilla Sauce or Ice Cream


Courtesy of Laura Sawicki

This custard base can be enhanced by infusing a number of different things into the dairy. Begin the recipe as suggested, and add the flavoring of your choice just after the milk comes up to a scald. Add herbs, spices, teas, coffees or candies, cover and allow to infuse for about 20 minutes, depending on the infusion. Taste, adjust seasonings and strain the mixture. If there was significant absorption of liquid, adjust by adding enough milk or cream to return to the original volume. Proceed with the rest of the steps.

1 batch makes 1 1/2 quarts.

Fairly difficult

Stirred Custard: Crème Anglaise, Vanilla Sauce or Ice Cream


For 1 Batch(es)


  • Base:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 1 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 9 egg yolks

Stirred Custard: Crème Anglaise, Vanilla Sauce or Ice Cream Directions

  1. Combine the milk, cream, salt and half of the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the back of a pairing knife to scrape out the pulp. Add the pod and its pulp to the saucepan and stir well to dissolve the sugar.
  2. In the meantime, carefully separate the eggs (reserving the whites for another purpose) and place the yolks in a bowl and whisk them. Very gradually whisk the remaining sugar into the egg yolks, being careful not to “burn” them (when sugar is dumped directly on top of egg yolks it will cause what’s known as a “burn” on the yolks—clumps forming in the yolks that are nearly impossible to smooth out as you proceed with a recipe).
  3. Once the dairy mixture reaches the point of scald (just before boiling), lower the heat to medium-low. Place the bowl of yolks on top of a dish towel to keep it steady, and slowly add a ladle of the hot mixture while whisking constantly. This is referred to as tempering the yolks, or gently heating them to prevent curdling. Carefully add the tempered yolk mixture to the saucepan, stirring constantly. Keep the heat at medium-low, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook the mixture to 170°, or until it coats the back of the spoon.
  4. Strain the mixture through a sieve or fine-mesh strainer and cool it in an ice bath immediately. Chill the custard overnight in the refrigerator. The following day, freeze the custard in an ice cream machine or use it as a sauce to garnish a favorite dessert.

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