So... what do you do when your life is consumed by home renovations? You post a recipe for Crème Anglaise (vanilla cream sauce) that has been in a Passions to Pastry draft for weeks. I can't believe that after the three-month construction of my kitchen we took on another project and are in the final stages of two bathroom remodels (one was totally gutted) and the creation of an office and "family room" in our basement. I am promising my family that this is it! Well, that is until we eventually replace all of our 83-year-old windows and rebuild our rotting deck off the back of our house, but that's for another time…
As a result of this renovation, I have multiple painting projects with a deadline staring me in the face... plus, it is slowly warming up in St. Paul, Minnesota. I urgently need to get my vegetable garden prepped for planting! And, if that weren't enough, our youngest daughter graduates from high school this spring. Claire, who completed French Immersion studies, has requested a Marie Antoinette graduation party (i.e., I will be baking French pastries for 200+ people. Anyone want to help?). How I will accomplish that, I don't quite know. This I am certain of -- I will be asking friends and neighbors if I can use their refrigerators. There will surely be a flood of photos during this process. Until then, however, posts will probably be a bit scarce, few and far between.
In the meantime, make some Crème Anglaise! Berries are beginning to creep back into the grocery stores. It won't be long before good-tasting, locally grown produce will become more visible. Berries in a pool of Crème Anglaise is a favorite of mine. My rhubarb will be ready for cutting in about two weeks. Roasted rhubarb with a healthy drizzle of Crème Anglaise is also a delicious, spring-time dessert (or breakfast), and with 8 large rhubarb plants in my garden, we eat a lot of rhubarb.
recipe from French Tarts by Linda Dannenberg
• 5 large egg yolks
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 cups whole milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large saucepan, whisk together the yolks and the sugar. In another saucepan, heat the milk and the vanilla extract over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Pour the hot milk into the yolk mixture, stirring constantly with a spoon. Set over medium heat and stir constantly until the sauce thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Do not let the sauce come to a boil or it will curdle. Remove from the heat and place plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool, then refrigerate if not serving immediately.
Crème Anglaise is best served the day it is made, at room temperature, but if can be refrigerated for a couple of days and served chilled.
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