creme anglaise and/or vanilla ice cream

before i begin the custard/ice cream discourse i feel i should briefly reflect on a recent criticism i received from an ambling older fellow. it was put to me thusly: “could you perhaps not be so unremittingly cool and be slightly less cool for the sake of grammatical comprehension.” hardly. my initial response however was tempered somewhat when i took into account the scope and scale of my audience – you know who you are. and the fact that i can count them on one hand, granted one which was blessed with a few extra digits. make that two. and it occurred to me that in order to maintain the interest of this small, wonderful and dysfunctional collective of individuals, much less attract the interest of a broader cross-section of society, i should perhaps respond more openly and, if nothing else, feign interest in constructive criticisms which might come my way. so henceforth and herewith i shall endeavour. to. be, more; liberal# in my use’ of punctuation! and so it is, i declare the death of cool in favour of grammatical and structural accuracy. now, onto the question of custard, if i may. >?@*()

ingredients

6 egg yolks

2/3 cup of sugar

1 cup milk

2 cups double cream

1 vanilla pod – split and scraped

in a saucepan pour the milk, cream and the vanilla pod and heat on a low heat until just before boiling point. remove from heat and set aside.

in a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy and doubled in volume.

then carefully, gently, and calmly slowly pour a little bit of the hot milk/cream over the egg/sugar mix and whisk like a mentalist. this is the crucial moment. if your attention is diverted, or even if your whisking arm is weary, you run the dreaded risk of scrambling your eggs. once you have whisked in the first bit of milk, you can take a step back from the psychological and culinary edge and proceed to pour in the rest in a more relaxed fashion…though it is important to continue whisking.

then return the mix to the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over a gentle heat. it will slowly start to thicken and you will know you are good to go (not that theres ever anywhere to go) when you can draw a line through the custard on the spoon. if you are using this for custard then place the cooled mix in the fridge to set. if you are marching inexorably on to make a vanilla ice cream sent from heaven then pour this cooled mix into an ice cream machine and churn for 20-ish minutes. whichever way you go, you will find yourself at the end, in a full fat sea of vanilla-y goodness in which i encourage you to wade, bask and finally sink to the bottom.

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3 Responses to “creme anglaise and/or vanilla ice cream”


  1. 1 gigglie April 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Father William seemed grateful for a modicum of punctuational inclusiveness, more readily able to appreciate the nuanced* satisfaction of one’s mixture thickening and the random discovery of a mini hot chocolate upside-down cake disguised as a muffin on Virtuous Friday. If he weren’t such a gay grump, I fancied his cockles seemed warmed.

    *by the insistent fatalism of there being ‘nowhere to go’

  2. 3 gigglie April 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    what the?


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