Recipe Name: Anglaise Sauce
Creme anglaise is the classic complement to a soufflé, but I like it with bread pudding, a slice of fresh tart or a fruit compote as well. Ice cream can be made from it too!
2 cups milk
6 egg yolks, from x-large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep the milk warm.
Combine the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt in a second saucepan and beat them until well-blended. While continuing to beat the egg yolk mixture, slowly add the scalded milk. Place the pan over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens. This can take up to 30 minutes. The end result should be a lovely silky sauce, about the consistency of heavy cream. Remove the pan from the heat and set it into a bath of ice water to stop the cooking, continuing to stir for about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the ice bath and chill the sauce for 30 minutes before serving.
Flavoring the Sauce: Creme anglaise may be flavored in two different ways: by adding 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur or spirit to the finished product (e.g., brandy, Grand Marnier, Frangelico); or by adding an ingredient to the milk as you're scalding it.
Grated citrus rind (2 tablespoons), instant coffee (I tablespoon) or melted semisweet chocolate bits (1/4-1/z cup) produce dramatically different but equally delicious dessert sauces. If you use one of these other flavorings, however, do not omit the vanilla-the other ingredients are in addition to the vanilla, not a substitute for it.