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Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

Foolproof Creme Anglaise (Classic Vanilla Custard Sauce)

4.74 from 84 votes
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. 

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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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Foolproof Creme Anglaise (Classic Vanilla Custard Sauce) Recipe

4.74 from 84 votes
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. 
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 3 cups
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. 
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 3 cups

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

  • In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan add the cream, milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla pod and beans
  • 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.
  • While the cream mixture is infusing, whisk the egg yolks with remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a medium bowl.
  • 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. 
  • Pour the tempered cream and egg mixture into the remaining cream in the saucepan, then return the pan to the heat. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Place the custard in an ice bath to cool it down quickly and prevent overcooking. 
  • 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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Daisy
Daisy
2 years ago

Is there any substitute of using egg yolk? Is such a waste throwing away the egg whites….
Thank you

Anne
Anne
1 year ago

Hello Gemma, this looks so delicious 😊 right now I am looking for thicker sauce/custard – the kind that keeps its shape on top of a pie/crust with strawberries or so on top. I’m guessing if I use this recipe, it’ll run all over the table😛 I see suggestions for flour or cornflour in the comments, or could the milk ratio or so just be adjusted? Or if it’s another recipe I’m looking for entirely, do you know what it would be called? Translation difficulties, you see 🙂
Thank you in advance. Anne

MamaBoos
MamaBoos
1 year ago

This was incredible and very easy! I only did a 1/2 batch. I used the other 1/2 vanilla bean in my whipped cream. I served it with a flourless chocolate torte, raspberry coulis, and vanilla bean whipped cream. My kids can’t wait for me to make it again. I had avoided making creme anglaise because it always seemed difficult, but this method really took away that fear! Thank you!

Silvia Zapata
Silvia Zapata
2 years ago

I loved the way you explained this recipe. Thank you so much!

Dorothy
Dorothy
7 months ago

This was easy and came out perfectly. I served along side a bread pudding and it was excellent. I think I will be pouring it over everyday. Next up will be over an apple galette. Yummy!

marion
marion
1 month ago

oh my goodness, that is far too much sugar, and eggs are too dear now, my recipe uses powder milk, custard powder and one spoon of sugar,, vanilla,
,- if using cornflour instead of custard pwdr. add some butter when it has thickened,, can add lemon juice ,, or cocoa for different flavours too,, so no eggs, and no cream,, delicious and creamy too ,,, add little more custard pwdr if making vanilla slice,, as this custard sets firm next day,,, great for trifles too,,,

Oli
Oli
3 months ago

I noticed in the video and your instructions you say to let sit for 20 minutes before you ladle the hot mixture into your eggs to temper them. If I let my hot mixture to sit for 20 min. it is no longer hot. In the video you can see your cream is still simmering.

Anna
Anna
3 months ago

Hi Gemma! Thank you for your great work, another great recipe. Just a quick note on the metric measurements as they seem a bit off to me: 8 fl oz should be 237ml

D Robold
D Robold
8 months ago

Delicious and very easy. A keeper

Jase
Jase
10 months ago

Quick tip for anyone else reading this before giving the recipe a crack: go easy on the sugar! I’ll be reducing the amount by 10g each time I make it in the future, until I get it to the right amount. The first and only time I’ve tried this recipe, my custard just tasted of sugar. That being said, the rest of the recipe worked well.

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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