Crème anglaise is a versatile sauce. It gives a silken coating to fresh berries, enhances a warm chocolate soufflé or can be turned into a rich, smooth vanilla ice cream. After flavouring the sauce, the vanilla pod can be rinsed, dried and stored covered in granulated sugar to make a vanilla sugar, which, when used in baking adds a little extra flavor. The amount of vanilla can be adjusted, or even doubled if you want a strong vanilla flavour.
The crème anglaise may be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine thoroughly.
Place the milk and cream in a Copper-Core sauce pan. With a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the centre of the vanilla beans. Add them to the liquid along with the bean. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. Place a bowl at least 1 litre in capacity, into the ice bath and position a fine mesh strainer over the bowl.
When the liquid is at a boil, whisk it into the yolk mixture working the whisk in a figure eight. Remove the vanilla beans, scrape the beans again with a paring knife, and add any additional scrapings to the milk mixture. Reserve the beans for another purpose or discard.
Return the mixture to the pot and place over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom and sides often with a spoon or spatula. Cook for about 3 minutes total or until the custard has thickened enough to coat a spoon and steam begins to rise from the surface. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl. Once the sauce is cooled, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two days.
The recipe make about 3 cups crème anglaise or an ice cream base.