Crème Anglaise

1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 plump, moist vanilla beans, split lengthwise, pulp scraped out
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar.

1. Bring milk, cream and vanilla bean pulp and pod to a boil. Cover pan, turn off heat and let rest for at least 10 minutes or for up to 1 hour.

2. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes, and set aside a smaller bowl that can hold finished cream.

3. Whisk yolks and sugar together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisking constantly, drizzle in one-quarter of the hot liquid. When yolks are warm, add the rest of the liquid in a steadier stream. Remove pod, return pan to medium heat and, whisking vigorously, cook cream until it thickens slightly, lightens in color and reaches 180 degrees. Alternatively, you can coat a wooden spoon with cream, then draw your finger across it; if cream doesn’t run into the track you have created, it’s done.

4. Immediately remove pan from heat, and allow cream to rest for a few minutes until it reaches 182 degrees. Strain cream into the small bowl, set bowl into ice bath, add cold water and, stirring frequently, cool completely. Cover cream and chill, if possible for 24 hours.

Yield: About 2 1/2 cups.

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