A custard sauce is considered the be-all and end-all dessert sauce among foodies. It's thick, colorful and can go many ways with flavor thanks to the large variety of ingredients that can be used to flavor it. Although other dessert sauces easily fit this bill, custard has the advantage with its staggering amount of culinary applications. Not only can it be served up as an accompaniment to many desserts and Foods, it can even be baked into a variety of other desserts.

In fact, many of the recipes I've written about on this platform have consisted of a custard base to give the dish more robustness.

So without further ado, I hereby provide a standalone custard recipe for you to try out. For its flavor, I've chosen Earl Grey, a popular black tea blend known around the world for its pleasantly pungent kick provided by the oils of a bergamot (an orange that grows in France and Italy).

But first, here's a quick rundown for those who aren't accustomed to this dessert sauce.

What is a custard sauce

Any foodie would know about custards and how important they are in the culinary field. These are the bases for many types of dessert sauces and even desserts.

A custard is a liquid (usually cream, milk or a combination of both) thickened with egg yolks, whole eggs, or other thickeners — sometimes used in combination. A custard can also be lightened with egg whites or whipping cream for certain variations like mousse and bavarois.

Depending on the variation, a custard's flavor could either be sweet or savory. One example for each is a Fruit Curd and Quiche Lorraine respectively.

The following recipe is a variation to a basic custard called Crème anglaise, a sweet custard that is traditionally flavored with vanilla and sugar. In this case, the vanilla pod/extract has been replaced with some Earl Grey tea bags.

The custard recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 qt Half-and-Half
  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • 8 oz egg yolks
  • 10 oz granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. In a double boiler, boil the half-and-half over medium heat. Steep the Earl Grey tea bags in the boiling Half-and-Half for 4 minutes. Remove the tea bags afterward.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together to make a sabayon. Temper the sabayon with approximately 1/3 of the hot half-and-half, then return the heated sabayon to the half-and-half.
  3. Stir the custard sauce constantly over medium heat until it becomes thick enough to lightly coat the spoon. To prevent the custard from curdling, constantly check the temperature and don't let it rise above 85°C.
  4. As soon as the custard sauce reaches the desired consistency, remove it from the heat and pour into a clean bowl.
  5. Chill the sauce by placing the bowl over an ice bath, then cover and refrigerate it.

Yield: 40 fl oz

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