Basil-Mint Custard Sauce

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Title: Basil-Mint Custard Sauce
Yield: 6 Servings
Categories: Sauce

Ingredients:

2 c Half and half
1 Vanilla bean; split in half
-lengthwise
8 Egg yolks
1/2 c Sugar
1 pn Salt
18 lg Fresh basil leaves
8 lg Fresh mint leaves
2 -(up to)
3 tb Green chartreuse


From: viv@tauon.ph.unimelb.edu.au (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 2
1/3 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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