What’s scarier: high heat or low heat?
You may think that the answer is obvious, but many chefs will tell you that the latter is more terrifying.
Why? Because of all those delicate emulsions and sauces that are prepared on low heat. They need close attention and are pretty easy to scorch, curdle, and break. The culprit of these mini-calamities is often inadequate heat.
That’s why I was thrilled to discover the dual-stacked burners. These are burners specifically designed for low-heat tasks (like simmering) or high-heat tasks (boiling). They feature low-tier burners that impart fine-tuning control over the low heat. With this, you can cook with no boiling or scorching that considerably increases your chances of success.
Of course, you can make perfect sauces on any burner if you utilize a double broiler and patience. Since summer fruit and pies are just around the corner, here is an excellent sauce to adorn them. It is good old custard.
If you don’t own a stove top with dual-stacked burners, use the technique which I suggest below. If you have them, you can skip the microwave and double-boiler and heat the milk on the stove.
- • 1/2 cup whole milk
- • 1/4 cup whipping cream
- • One teaspoon pure vanilla essence or 1 2-inch vanilla bean, split
- • Three large egg yolks
- • Three tablespoons sugar
- 1. Create a double boiler—Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Nestle a stainless steel bowl snugly on top of it.
- 2. Combine the milk, cream, and vanilla essence in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until heated but not boiling. (Using a vanilla bean? Cut it lengthwise, and scrape seeds into the milk.)
- 3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in the stainless steel bowl off the heat until the mixture becomes airy and lighter in color.
- 4. Gradually whisk heated milk mixture into the yolks.
- 5. Place the bowl over the boiling water or on the burner set on "simmer". Stir with a wooden spoon until the custard is cooked.
- 6. How do you know it’s ready? Dip a wooden spoon in the custard, and draw a finger on the back of the spoon. If your finger leaves a path, the custard is ready.
- 7. Strain the sauce into a bowl. Cover and chill.