Even though I am a middle-class arriviste, in certain areas my working-class roots show through. For instance, even though I know there is a much better thing that you can make yourself called Crème Anglaise, I still like Birds’ Instant Custard because it does skin-over much better than the French-named desert sauce.
Recipe for Le Anglaise
1 pint full-fat milk
4 egg yolks
1 vanilla pod, slit open lengthways
2 or 3 oz caster sugar
1. Place the milk in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add the seeds and the pod to the milk. Cook for five minutes, simmering to just short of boiling point.
2. Meanwhile, place the yolks in a bowl. Add in the caster sugar and whisk lightly to combine.
3. Place the yolk sugar mixture over a pan of simmering water for a few minutes, whisking constantly.
4. Strain the hot milk in a steady steam over the yolk mixture, whisking as you do. Take it back to the heat and simmer gently until it thickens up. If it wants to curdle a bit, which it can do, re-engage the whisk to homogenise it.
Alternatively, follow the instruction on the back of this tin