recipe-a-week #5: crème anglaise

So... I did make Ina Garten's Ile Flottante from Barefoot in Paris today. It's 8:45 and I literally just finished cleaning up the kitchen - I started making it just after 3:00 this afternoon. I had hoped to have a daylight pic of it. (Thanks to Adam for taking this one!) I don't think I'll be making it again, and the recipe is loooooong, so how about I just share the crème anglaise part of it? (Can you tell I'm tired out?) Of course, I made supper and gave the boy a bath in there, too. And for supper, I made Moroccan Couscous, another recipe from Barefoot in Paris, which was delicious, simple, and quick. I think I'll share that one later in the week. In the photo, the crème anglaise is the saucy bed. I used beautiful, huge, local eggs, so it has a gorgeous yellow colour.

On to the Crème Anglaise:

4 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp corn starch
1 3/4 cups scalded milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp Cognac
seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)

Beat egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachement on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce speed to low, and add corn starch.

With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs. Pour the custard mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly (this step took 30 minutes!) until thickened. It will coat the spoon like heavy cream. Don't cook above 180 degrees, or the eggs will scramble!

Pour the sauce through a fine strainer, add vanilla, cognac, and vanilla seeds, if using, and chill.

You can serve this over just about anything. Kind of like whipping cream. Mmmm.

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