Crème anglaise

[krem ang-gleyz, -glez, kreem; Fr. krem ahn-glez]

Crème anglaise (French for "English cream") is a light pouring custard used as a dessert cream or sauce. It is a mix of sugar, egg yolks and hot milk, often flavoured with vanilla.

The cream is made by whipping egg yolks and sugar together until the yolk is almost white, adding hot milk little by little, and cooking in a double boiler. The sauce is stirred with a spoon until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and then must be withdrawn from the heat. If the sauce reaches too high a temperature, it will curdle. Cooking temperature should be between 156 °F (69c) and 185 °F (85c); the higher the temperature, the thicker the resulting cream.

This can be poured as a sauce over cakes, fruits, etc. Alternatively, it can be eaten as a dessert on its own, often in the presentation of Île flottante ("floating island"): the cream is poured into a bowl with a piece of cooked foamy egg whites (blancs en neige) on top. It can also be used as a base for desserts such as ice cream or crème brûlée.

Other names includes 'crème à l'anglaise' and 'crème française'.


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