CRÈME ANGLAISE √
Makes about 2 cups.
Note: When refrigerated in a tightly sealed container, custard will keep for about 5 days. From D.J. Olsen.
• 1 c. heavy cream
• 1 c. whole milk
• 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. and 2 tsp. sugar, divided
• 5 egg yolks
• 1 vanilla bean, split
• Pinch salt
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, milk, 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla bean. Bring to a scald, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat to steep.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed, whisk egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons sugar, until mixture is pale yellow, thick and forms a ribbon, about 2 minutes.
Pass cream mixture through a chinoise or fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl (reserving vanilla bean for another use). Add pinch of salt to egg mixture, then whisk cream mixture into egg yolk mixture. Pass mixture once more through chinoise or fine-mesh strainer into saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until mixture begins to thicken to the consistency of heavy cream and coats the back of the spatula without sagging. Pass crème anglaise back through chinoise or fine-mesh strainer into medium bowl. Place bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice. Stir crème anglaise occasionally until custard reaches 70 degrees. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed (custard will keep up to 5 days; whisk before using).
BOURBON-BRAISED APPLES √
Makes about 3 cups.
Note: Use caution when lighting the alcohol in the pan (use a long lighter or match) and remove the pan from the burner (or turn off burner) before lighting it. When refrigerated in a tightly sealed container, the apples will keep for about 5 days. From D.J. Olsen.
• Juice from 1 medium lemon
• 8 medium-size tart, crisp apples such as Haralsen
• 1 c. sugar
• 1 c. bourbon
• Pinch salt
Core and peel apples, placing apples in 1 quart water with lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Slice each apple in half, top to bottom. Lay cut side of apple halves, face down, on a cutting board. Starting at one side, cut across each apple half to form 1/8-inch slices.
Place apple slices in a large bowl; add sugar and toss to evenly coat each slice with sugar.
Pour slices into a large frying pan; add bourbon. Place pan over high heat and bring liquid to a boil. Remove pan from heat and, using a long-handled lighter or fireplace match (or short match with pliers) light the bourbon on fire (caution: bourbon will light all at once.). Carefully shake pan to assure that all of the alcohol burns away.
Once flames have died away, return pan to burner and turn heat to low. Braise until apples are soft and translucent and most of the liquid has boiled away (if pan becomes dry before apples are soft, add a little water to moisten). Using a spatula, remove apples to a sheet tray to cool. Cover and refrigerate until needed.