Crème Anglaise or English cream is a light custard sauce. This is also the base of crème brûlée, Italian meringue and meringue buttercream. Stand on its own, crème Anglaise is the custard used for madártej, the Hungarian version of "floating island". Depending on the fat content of the milk or cream used, there is varying richness to crème Anglaise.

There are many uses for light custard sauce and many people have problems making it, which is what prompted me to post this sauce on its own. [This exact same custard sauce I make for madártej.] To take the guesswork out of crème Anglaise, a candy thermometer is necessary. Vanilla beans give the most intense vanilla flavor to custards, but since I make my own vanilla sugar from vanilla beans, vanilla sugar is what generally ends up in my madártej.

5 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour [optional]
2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise
Instead of the vanilla bean you can use 2 Tbsp of real vanilla sugar or 2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

• Beat the egg yolks and sugar for 3-4 minutes until very thick and creamy.
• Add 1 Tbsp of flour and whisk to combine. This step is optional.
• Add the milk and whisk to combine.
• Transfer yolk-milk mixture to a saucepan.
• Split the vanilla bean and add to the saucepan. [If vanilla extract or sugar is used, you will add this later]
• Slowly heat the mixture and keep stirring with a wooden spoon
• You must NOT let the milk boil or the yolks will curdle. Let it come no higher than 175F or 80C. Dip the wooden spoon into the custard and run your finger along the back of the spoon. If the streak remains without the cream running down through the streak, it is ready.
• If you use vanilla extract or vanilla sugar, now is the time to add to the hot custard.
• Strain the hot custard through a fine sieve into a bowl.
• If you used vanilla bean scrape the seeds into the hot custard and stir. [Save the vanilla bean for other uses.]
• Serve the crème Anglaise hot or chilled.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!