Basil-mint custard sauce

Yield: 6 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Half and half
1 Vanilla bean; split in half lengthwise
8 Egg yolks
½ cup Sugar
1 pinch Salt
18 larges Fresh basil leaves
8 larges Fresh mint leaves (up to)
3 tablespoons Green chartreuse

From: viv@... (Viviane Buzzi)

Date: Tue, 3 May 1994 04:02:25 GMT Recently, there was a request for desserts using fresh herbs. Here is an unusual use of herbs in a dessert...I hope you like it. I got it from an article in a magazine a few years back...I can't remember whether it was Vogue or Harper's Bazaar.

This is a creme anglaise, infused with fresh basil and mint. Serve in a pitcher with summer fruits...some suggestions given in the recipe are: pitted cherries and red currants, mixed berried with plum, peach and nectarine sections and a mixture of various melons. Sprinkle with superfine sugar and toss gently. Let stand for at least 30 mins. to form a light, natural syrup. Serve the fruit cold, drizzling each portion with some of the sauce.

Place the half and half in a heavy saucepan (not aluminium) over medium heat. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the liquid; add the vanilla pod and bring to a boil.

Place the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a bowl; whisk until combined. Very gradually whisk the hot liquid into the egg-yolk mixture. Return to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the custard lightly coats the back of the spoon, usually 5-8 minutes.

Do not allow to boil. Remove from the heat and strain. Let cool.

Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Add the basil and mint leaves; blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and immediately plunge the herbs into a bowl of ice water (this will set the green colour). Remove the herbs from water and gently press out excess water. Place the cooled custard and the herbs in a blender and puree. Add Chartreuse to taste and transfer to a glass pitcher. Keep the custard refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap. Makes 2⅓ cups (6-8 servings).

This recipe was created by a chef called Gary Danko. He claims this sauce is also perfect with a chocolate mousse cake... I think he is right!! In fact, I think it would go quite nicely also with a rich chocolate parfait.



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