This is a recipe we learned in the cooking class “Inspired by the Hit Movie Julie & Julia – Mastering French Cuisine” at the Viking Cooking School at Hubble & Hudson Bistro & Market in The Woodlands north of Houston. We had it in class over Classical Chocolate Souffle – I’ll post the recipe soon – and we had it for our 40th Anniversary over Bittersweet Chocolate Cake. It is delicious. I know my grandmother, “E”, would have loved it!
1 cup Whole Milk
½ Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise
3 large Egg Yolks
¼ cup Sugar
2 tsp Orange-flavored Liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Cointreu or TripleSec, or to taste
½ tsp finely minced Orange Zest
Place the milk and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer.
Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium mixing bowl until the yolks are pale yellow in color.
Remove the vanilla bean from the milk. Gradually whisk in a small ladleful of the hot milk, whisking until incorporated – this tempers the egg yolks and keeps them from cooking. Add the remaining milk, one ladle at a time, whisking constantly.
Pour the tempered egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and creamy, about 5 minutes. (Note: the custard is ready when the temperature reaches 170 degrees and coats the back of a spoon.)
Pour the custard through a fine metal strainer into a large bowl; add the Orange-flavored Liqueur and orange zest and stir to combine. Set the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice to cool the custard.
Continue stirring until completely cool, then cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator until cold.