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Foolproof Creme Anglaise (Classic Vanilla Custard Sauce)

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My Foolproof Creme Anglaise is a sweet custard-like sauce, the name of which is French for “English cream,” and my method truly is foolproof. 


Hi Bold Bakers!

My Bold Baking Basics series is all about giving you guys the recipes and tips to bake confidently anytime, anywhere, from the ground-up. One of the most important parts of baking is using quality ingredients. I know it can be hard to find certain staple ingredients, and classic technique-based sauces like creme anglaise can seem hard to make, but I’m here to show you just how easy it is.

My Foolproof Creme Anglaise (Classic Vanilla Custard) really is just that: foolproof. This recipe and video not only includes all the tricks to making the perfect creme anglaise, but I share a chef’s tricks on how to salvage this delicate custard if things happen to go wrong!

What desserts go with creme anglaise?

First of all, for those of you who might not have had creme anglaise, you’re probably wondering what it is and how it’s served. This sweet custard-like sauce is French for “English cream.” It’s rich in texture and the flavor is developed by cooking together sugar, egg yolks, milk, and vanilla.

[ Need to get some Vanilla Beans for my Creme Anglaise? Here you go! ]

The mixture is cooked enough to cook the egg yolks, but not too much as to keep a creamy, pourable, sauce-like texture. While this sauce may seem intimidating to make it’s so easy to master with all of my tips and tricks. I love creme anglaise served in the traditional fashion alongside a warm slice of Apple Pie, poured over my Peach and Blueberry Crisp, or generously drizzled over fresh fruit.

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What’s the best way to avoid curdling?

The crux of making creme anglaise is cooking the sauce just enough, but not too much, as there is a fine line between a thick and decadent sauce and sweet creamy scrambled eggs. Since there’s nothing worse than putting in the time and effort to prepare a recipe than having it go south, this simple creme anglaise recipe has your back.

Not only do I show you in the video how to avoid overcooking the custard, but I share one of my favorite tips for saving a curdled creme anglaise. If for some reason your custard does in fact curdle during the cooking process, it can be saved by blending the custard while still warm. I know this seems too good to be true, but this will bring your custard back together and create a smooth lump-free sauce.

Can creme anglaise be made ahead of time? How far in advance?

My recipe can be made in advance! Considering it’s the kind of thing you will always want to have on hand this is great news. Once the creme anglaise has cooled, you can store it in the fridge for 4 days.

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Is Creme Anglaise Served Hot or Cold?

The beauty of keeping this easy creme anglaise covered in the fridge is it’s always ready to roll as it can be both be served hot and cold. It can be reheated by placing it over a Bain-marie or very carefully over low heat while constantly stirring. Take care when reheating because you don’t want to ‘cook’ the eggs causing them to curdle.

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5 from 7 votes
Foolproof Creme Anglaise (Classic Vanilla Custard Sauce) Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

My Foolproof Creme Anglaise is a sweet custard-like sauce, the name of which is French for "English cream," and my method truly is foolproof. 

Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: French
Servings: 3 cups
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (8floz/225ml) cream (any type of fresh cream will do)
  • 1 1/2 cups (12floz/340ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (4oz/115g) sugar, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • 6 egg yolks
Instructions
  1. In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan add the cream, milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla pod and beans

  2. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble around the edge of the pan, for about 2 minutes, do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 20 minutes.

  3. While the cream mixture is infusing, whisk the egg yolks with remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a medium bowl.

  4. Ladle some of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, then swiftly whisk to combine. Add another ladle of the infused milk to the eggs until the egg mixture is warm to the touch. This method is called tempering and it prevents the eggs from curdling. 

  5. Pour the tempered cream and egg mixture into the remaining cream in the saucepan, then return the pan to the heat. 

  6. Continue to cook over medium heat while constantly stirring until the custard coats the back of a spoon, this will take about 5 to 7 minutes.

  7. Once the custard has thickened, remove from the heat and strain through a sieve into a medium bowl to remove any lumps and the vanilla pod. 

  8. Place the custard in an ice bath to cool it down quickly and prevent overcooking. 

  9. Once cooled, cover and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up 4 days. Serve with pies, crisps and cobblers. 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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20 Comments

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  1. Harsha Navlani on November 19, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Hii Gemma m a big big fan of yours please share eggless recipe of classic vanilla custard

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 11:19 am

      Hi there Harsha,
      This is not really possible! It is possible to make a vanilla sauce, milk or cream, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla.
      If you use heavy whipping cream then you will not need to thicken it, heat it through with the vanilla and sugar. If you use milk then you will need to use about 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, blended with the sugar, to 16 ozs/2 cups of milk.
      Try it! it is a useful thing to have in your repertoire,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Judylyn Manalo on November 19, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Verryy nice

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Erika Cronje on November 19, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Gemma, I subscribe to a couple vidlogs and cooking sites but I love yours by far the best. Your recipes are awesome and foolproof and not so exotic you constantly have to rush out and get unusual ingredients, great basics indeed!!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 19, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      Wow, i’m delighted to hear that 🙂

  4. Diane hill on November 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Where do I buy the vanilla beans

    • Gemma Stafford on November 21, 2018 at 2:09 am

      Hi Diane,
      We are buying them here (https://amzn.to/2To0f9a). They are an expensive item, and we are working on another source now. Stay tuned!
      Gemma 🙂

  5. caroshina on November 18, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Thank you so much for the recipes you share with all of us! I love reading the recipes, making them, eating them and sharing them!! 😀
    I have a question; How can I make this recipe tighter, so that it isn’t as thin? I thank you in advance.
    Big BoldBaker,Carolyn

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 4:02 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, this is a thin custard. To make it thicker you can reduce the amount of milk, use a larger egg, or add a little cornstarch to thicken it.
      If you use a 35% whipping cream it will also be thicker. Really it depends on the use you wish to make of it. one to two teaspoons of cornstarch, blended with the egg yolks before adding the cream/milk will give you a thick custard, add a little more milk if it seems too thick for your need.
      Creme Patissiere is a similar thing, used as a filling in things like choux pastry/mille feuille, that uses about 1 1/2 tablespoons of ap flour, blended with the eggs, cooked out in the cream/milk. Different ways for different applications!
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Tita Bakos on November 18, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    I’m trying to find the address where I can purchase vanilla pods but I can’t seem to find it. Could you furnish it please? Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 3:43 am

      Hi Tita,
      Here you go (https://amzn.to/2To0f9a). Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Bev McClure on November 18, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Even easier Creme Anglaise – just melt some vanilla bean ice cream.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

      YUM

  8. Tami on November 18, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Where is the link for vanilla beans?😊

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 3:33 am

      Hi Tami,
      I need to get back to this (https://amzn.to/2To0f9a). This one works, I am sorry for the confusion, I need to get back to it,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Dia206 on November 18, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Hello mam I m your huge fan I always watch ur recepies your work is great you have made baking so easy that any one can try your recepies mam I wanted to know how can we substitute eggs in this recepie

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 3:15 am

      Hi Dia,
      You cannot make a custard, which this is, without eggs. I am sorry. You can make a vanilla sauce, with cornstarch/cornflour, sugar, vanilla, milk. It will not be the same thing but it will fit the bill for some recipes. Google it, there are a number of suggestions,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Giuliana Venter on November 18, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Hi Gemma! I’m looking for your link to buy vanilla pods. Can you share it with us? Thank you so much!

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2018 at 3:10 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, sorry, I forgot to add it! apologies (https://amzn.to/2To0f9a). Here it is for you,
      Gemma 🙂

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