“Feel free to order eggs with abandon”, encourages the Quill’s End Farm weekly e-mail. “You need a dozen duck eggs”, declares my friend Captain Joe. “The girls at Undercliff Farm are laying now,” boasts Ruthie.
Halleluiah! It’s egg season.
Now that the daylight hours are longer, Mother Nature has quickened the pace, and we are relishing a surplus of Maine eggs.
Aside from the usual fare of eggs fried, or scrambled for breakfast, we’re enjoying deviled stuffed eggs and omelets. Custards are good too, and I’m particularly fond of the custard sauce Crème Anglaise or English Cream.
For those not fortunate enough to have yet experienced Crème Anglaise, this is a simple, yet profound tasting sauce. Delicate, sweet, and rich, this custard enhances every bite that it accompanies: fresh, ripe redraspberries, succulent pears, or even canned peaches. I love it on chocolate….chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate soufflé.
Most recipes for the preparation of Crème Anglaise call for a vanilla bean, heated in the milk and cream, and then the seeds, painstakingly scraped from the pod. Sounds delicious, but more work than I want to do. Besides, who keeps a vanilla bean handy in their pantry?
My sweetener of choice is Maine maple syrup, and for cooking, I like to use Grade A Dark Amber. This rich, deep golden syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness and flavor.
The secret to preparing Maple Crème Anglaise is patience. Heat the cream and egg mixture slowly, don’t allow it to boil. If the mixture gets too hot, the eggs will actually start to scramble, and the sauce will curdle. Straining the sauce removes any small egg particles.
A jar of Maple Crème Anglaise Sauce is instant dessert, waiting in your refrigerator. Try pouring it over baked apples or pound cake. Layer fruit, cake and sauce in wine glasses for a trifle, or pour it in a bowl and eat it with a cookie….a Maine floating island.
Maple Crème Anglaise Sauce
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup cream
- 3 tablespoons Maine maple syrup
- 3 egg yolks
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and Maine maple syrup.
- Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Whisk into the egg yolk mixture. Remove from heat. Strain through a sieve into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick. The mixture will coat a spoon.
- Remove from heat. Strain through a sieve into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.
- Makes about 1 ½ cups sauce.