Creme Anglaise or Custard Sauce

  • Serves: Makes 1 cup
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Creme Anglaise (English Cream) is the French translation for a rich cooked custard sauce that can be served hot or cold over cake, fruit or other desserts. Find out how we fix the recipe if it curdles or separates.


If the recipe curdles or separates, and is not burned, pour instantly into a blender and add a little heavy cream. Process until smooth before straining.

1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 2-inch piece vanilla bean, split or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract*
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar

1. Have a fine mesh strainer and bowl ready near the stove.

2. Combine milk and cream in heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean (If using vanilla extract instead, add it in Step #5).
Bring milk mixture to simmer. Remove from heat.

3. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend; do not let sit too long, otherwise the yolks will dry or "burn" from the sugar. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan.

4. Stir continuously over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 5 minutes. Take care not to boil the mixture, otherwise it may curdle or separate.

5. Strain sauce through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sauce.
*NOTE: If using vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, stir it into the custard sauce now.

6. Let cool slightly to use warm. To rewarm, use a double boiler with gentle heat while gently stirring.
To use cold: Press a piece of plastic wrap on its surface and chill until thickened and cold.

Can be made 1 or 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Does not freeze.

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