Tip:Crème anglaise is a delicate, sweet egg-based sauce that’s prone to curdling if overheated. So as soon as it begins to thicken, you’ll need to stop the cooking by putting the bowl in an ice-water bath. Be sure to set up the water bath before you start cooking the crème anglaise, so you won’t have to scramble at the last minute and take the risk of scrambling your sauce, too.
Set a medium metal bowl in a large bowl of ice water and have a fine sieve at the ready.
Combine the cream and sugar in a 3-quart saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to encourage the sugar to dissolve. Heat the mixture through but do not allow it to boil. Remove from the heat.
Put the egg yolks and salt in a small heatproof bowl and gently whisk to break up the yolks. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the warm cream mixture. Pour the yolk mixture into the cream remaining in the saucepan and whisk to combine.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a clean wooden or heatproof plastic spoon until the custard thickens slightly, enough to coat the back of the spoon and hold a line drawn through it with a finger, 4 to 8 minutes. An instant-read thermometer should register 170° to 175°F. Do not let the sauce overheat or boil, or it will curdle. Immediately strain the sauce through the sieve into the bowl set in the ice-water bath (see tip).
Gently whisk in the rum, bourbon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Stir the sauce occasionally until cool, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer it to another container, if you like, and cover the surface of the sauce with plastic to prevent a skin from forming. Wrap the container tightly with more plastic and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours, until velvety and slightly thick.
Make Ahead Tips
This sauce thickens to a rich, velvety consistency as it chills, so for the most luxurious texture, make it a day ahead. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for 2 to 3 days. Cover the surface of the sauce with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 1 Tbs., Calories
5, Fat Calories
50, Saturated Fat
1, Monounsaturated Fat
3, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips