Nutmeg Crème Anglaise
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
A light custard sauce with just a touch of nutmeg, this is the perfect finish for many fall and winter sweets.
1¾ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (see Kitchen Tips)
4 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
- Fill a large bowl part-way up with ice water. Set a smaller bowl into it, making sure that the top bowl is secure and the ice water will not enter it. Place a fine-mesh strainer over the smaller bowl. Set the ice bath next to your stovetop.
- In a saucepan set over medium heat, combine the milk, vanilla bean paste, and nutmeg. Cook until bubbles begin to form around the edges. While the milk is heating up, combine the egg yolks and sugar to a bowl and whisk to blend. Drizzle the hot milk into the eggs in a steady stream, whisking constantly (see Kitchen Tips). Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the pan.
- Switch to a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula and stir continuously over low heat for about 4 minutes, until the custard coats the spoon, without overcooking or allowing it to boil. Immediately pour through the fine-mesh strainer into the bowl set in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Serve warm or at room temperature with the sweet of your choice.
- Nutmeg is available ground, but if you buy the whole nutmeg and grate it or scrape it with a sharp knife yourself, the flavor and fragrance will be much stronger. Look for it in specialty spice stores, good supermarket spice sections, or online.
- If your bowl wobbles around precariously while you are whisking with one hand and pouring with the other, dampen a kitchen towel and fashion it into a round “nest” on your kitchen counter. Nestle the bowl into it securely and continue whisking and pouring.
- This crème anglaise can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.