Crème Anglaise Recipe

Crème Anglaise! The classic custard sauce is versatile and can be flavored a million different ways. This is a great basic recipe to have on hand. It can elevate an ordinary dessert into a special presentation.

a summer pudding on a plate of creme anglaise.

What is Crème Anglaise?

Crème Anglaise is a vanilla sauce that every pastry chef knows how to make and uses over and over again. Despite the fancy name and elegant appearance, it really is just a simple custard. See the helpful tips section below for information about the basics of making a custard.


ingredients for creme anglaise in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Milk/Cream – You can use half and half in place of the milk and cream.
  • Vanilla Bean – Vanilla bean is the classic flavoring, but you can replace the bean with vanilla extract or a flavoring of your choice.

How to make Crème Anglaise

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

a pot of scalding cream.
  • Combine the milk and cream in a large saucepan.
  • Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and put them into the pot along with the pod.
  • Heat the mixture until scalding.
egg yolks and sugar in a bowl with a whisk.
  • While the milk and cream are heating up, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.
Egg yolks and hot cream in a bowl with a whisk.
  • Whisk the scalding cream into the bowl of egg yolks and sugar.
  • Return the custard to the pan.
a spatula covered with custard.
  • Cook the custard over low heat, stirring constantly. Do not let the mixture come to a boil.
  • Cook just until it is thick enough to coat the spatula (this is called “nappe”).
a strainer with bits of egg and a vanilla bean pod.
  • Immediately strain the custard back into the bowl.
  • Discard the vanilla pod or save it to make vanilla sugar.
Custard sauce coating a spoon.
  • Chill the sauce completely before serving.
  • Perfect creme anglaise will coat the back of the spoon and leave a trail when swiped with finger.


Creme Anglaise should be refrigerated until serving. It’s best within a day of being made, but will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Pastry Chef Tips for making Custard

If you master the technique of making crème anglaise you can make any egg custard. Pastry cream, Ice cream and Lemon curd are all made with the same technique.

Heat up a liquid base (dairy for custards and fruit juice for curds) then “liason” the hot liquid with eggs and sugar and cook until it’s thickened. That’s it in a nutshell.

What is “liason”? Add some of the hot liquid to the eggs to bring the temperatures closer together. If you pour the raw eggs into the hot liquid you’ll end up with bits of scrambled egg in the custard. To get a silky smooth sauce “liason” the ingredients.

How to fix curdled Creme Anglaise

If the sauce is cooked too fast or too long it can become a bit curdled. If that happens, all may not be lost. If it’s not too far gone you can usually fix your creme anglaise using an immersion (or regular) blender. Give the sauce a whirl and it should regain it’s silky texture.

How to flavor and serve Creme Anglaise

a rhubarb summer pudding on a plate of creme anglaise.

Now that you’ve made this recipe what should you do with all the extra egg whites? Check out this collection of recipes that use extra whites for some great ideas.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider leaving a 5-star review.

creme anglaise
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Crème Anglaise Recipe

Crème Anglaise, the classic custard sauce, is versatile and can be flavored a million different ways. This is a great basic recipe to have on hand. It can elevate an ordinary dessert into a special presentation. The recipe makes 3 cups of sauce.
Prep Time15 minutes
Bake Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
12 servings
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  • ½ vanilla bean ( or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 8 oz whole milk (1 cup)
  • 8 oz heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3 oz granulated sugar ( cup)


  • Split ½ vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Combine 8 oz whole milk, 8 oz heavy cream the vanilla beans and the pod in a pan over medium high heat. Cook until scalding hot. Do not let it come to a full boil.
  • While the milk heats up, whisk together 6 large egg yolks and 3 oz granulated sugar. Whisk the hot milk into the bowl of egg yolks, then return the mix to the pan.
  • Cook the sauce over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (see photo). Remove from the heat immediately and strain.
  • Refrigerate until serving.

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If the sauce gets a bit curdled, don’t panic. To bring back the smooth texture use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the sauce.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 56mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 438IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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