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Egg Custard Sauce

Sauces and Spicery

Thin pouring sauce of milk or cream, egg yolks and sugar heated until thick, but neither boiled nor allowed to set (Soyer 1845, Mrs.B, etc). While the French imitation of English Custard (Crème anglaise) is always flavoured with vanilla, this is entirely optional in the original. For the more usual modern version, see Custard Sauce

The word 'custard' first appears in English as a kind of open pie containing pieces of meat or fruit covered with a preparation of broth or milk, thickened with eggs, sweetened, and seasoned with spices. It may be derived from the Norman, 'crustarde', from the same root as 'crust'. (OED)

Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management', 1861, edited by Isabella Beeton (See Mrs.B)

VANILLA CUSTARD SAUCE, to serve with Puddings.
1361. INGREDIENTS:1/2 pint of milk, 2 eggs, 2 oz. of sugar, 10 drops of essence of vanilla.
Mode: Beat the eggs, sweeten the milk; stir these ingredients well together, and flavour them with essence of vanilla, regulating the proportion of this latter ingredient by the strength of the essence, the size of the eggs, &c. Put the mixture into a small jug, place this jug in a saucepan of boiling water, and stir the sauce one way until it thickens; but do not allow it to boil, or it will instantly curdle. Serve in a boat or tureen separately, with plum, bread, or any kind of dry pudding. Essence of bitter almonds or lemon-rind may be substituted for the vanilla, when they are more in accordance with the flavouring of the pudding with which the sauce is intended to be served.
Time: To be stirred in the jug from 8 to 10 minutes.
Average cost: 4d.
Sufficient: for 4 or 5 persons.

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