Some less-scrupulous chefs used to add cornstarch to their crème anglaise to give it extra body without having to use more egg yolks. The cornstarch stabilized the crème anglaise but also sometimes imparted a starchy taste or off mouthfeel.
By using xanthan gum instead, it’s possible to make a crème anglaise with all the creaminess of the original without either egg yolks or cornstarch.
Use an immersion blender to blend together the milk, sugar, and xanthan gum. Split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and add them to the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer to infuse the beans for about 5 minutes. Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens, as soon as it approaches a simmer. Strain through a chinois. Stir while cooling (if you are cooling) to prevent a skin forming on the surface.
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.