Submitted by derMoerder
A pastry-kitchen standard, this has so many uses. My favorite is to just use as a base to ice cream! Use it as it is for vanilla, or just reduce the vanilla to just a tiny drop and steep whatever flavoring element you've got going on in the hot dairy before straining, reheating and combining with the egg yolks.
Ingredients (Yields 1 Quart)
- 2C Milk
- 2C Cream
- 1/2Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2Tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste
- 8 Egg Yolks
- 8oz Sugar
- Bowls and Pot
- Combine milk and cream. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and add vanilla.
- "Blanchir" the eggs yolks with the sugar. Whisk them together until the color turns more pale and it holds a ribbon.
- Prep ice bath with a strainer before doing anything else. That is a bowl in a bowl of ice. If you're caught without this after cooking the creme you won't have any way to stop the cooking and you'll have scrambled eggs.
- Temper the dairy into the yolks. Pour the dairy into the yolks a very little bit at a time, while whisking, in order to gently bring the hot and cold together. If you just pour in the dairy, which was just boiling, you'll have scrambled eggs.
- Get everything back on a low flame while stirring with a wooden spoon all over the bottom of the pan.
- At first it will be thin and have a layer of bubbles from the whisking. After a few minutes of stirring on the heat the bubbles with be more or less gone, and the mixture will feel thicker. You're nearly there.
- Now keep an eye on the thickness. When it coats the back of your spoon as thick as this, get it onto ice. It should be thick enough that when you run your finger through it, it keeps the line your finger made just like this. The strainer is to remove the couple of bits of cooked yolk that inevitably turn up from the bottom and corners of the pan.
All done! Put a pool of this on a plate around some spongecake, put it into your ice cream maker, or any number of desserts.