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English Custard



(2 cups)

2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract


Heat milk in heavy bottomed saucepan to simmer (a film begins to form on top of the milk, bubbles appear around the edges of the pan, and steam starts to rise from the milk). Remove from heat and stir in sugar to dissolve. Pour a little hot milk over the yolks to temper, stirring briskly. Add yolk mixture to the milk, return to the heat, add the salt, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. After a few minutes, custard will thicken slightly. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl through a strainer. Add the vanilla and stir a few seconds until the custard is cool. Serve warm or chilled. Even better with just a touch of Calvados or Bourbon stirred in.