Split and scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod. Scald the milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a heavy-based saucepan. Remove from the heat and allow the vanilla to infuse in the milk for 15 minutes. Beat together the egg yolks and castor sugar in a bowl until pale and double in volume and the sugar has dissolved. Pour half the milk onto the egg yolk mix and whisk together. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk and whisk. Cook the crème Anglaise over a very low heat until it thickens, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. It is ready when it coats the back of a spoon and your finger leaves a clear path when run through the crème Anglaise. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pass the crème Anglaise through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Set the bowl over a larger bowl half-filled with ice to cool the crème Anglaise as quickly as possible. Stir from time to time to prevent a skin from forming.
© 2005 Liam Tomlin. All rights reserved.