This is the classic and traditional way of making a crème anglaise. Another method is to cook it sous vide, which allows you to poach the milk-yolk-sugar-vanilla mixture in a well-sealed plastic bag at a precise temperature. One advantage to this technique is that you can then keep the sauce in the immersion bath until needed.
Whisk together the yolks, milk, split vanilla bean, and sugar and vacuum-seal in a heavy plastic bag. Cook the mixture sous vide at a temperature of 156°F (70°C) for 40 minutes. At this point, you can use the crème anglaise right away, you can keep it in the sous vide tank for up to a couple of hours until you need it, or you can transfer it to a bain-marie (water bath) to keep it warm. If you’re serving it cold, or not using it right away, transfer the crème anglaise to a mixing bowl and let cool, stirring every minute or two to keep a skin from forming on the surface.
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.