- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Combine milk and cream in a saucepan. Scrape in vanilla bean seeds and add the pod. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a bowl. While whisking, slowly add about half the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture to temper, then pour mixture back into pan with remaining milk mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing with a flexible spatula to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Chocolate Variation: Transfer 1/2 cup creme anglaise to a small bowl and stir in 2 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate; let stand 3 minutes, then stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.