- Basil - Mint Custard Sauce
2 cups half-and-half
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
18 large fresh basil leaves
8 large fresh mint leaves
2 - 3 Tbsps green Chartreuse
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.
Serve in a pitcher with summer fruits such as 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.
Makes 2 1/3 cups (6-8 servings).