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A Creme Anglaise Recipe is an absolute must-have in your recipe box. Silky smooth and made with real vanilla beans, this custard sauce you will make again and again for different desserts.

A small glass with pour spout with Creme Anglaise recipe inside sitting on a wooden table top with slice of cake and berries with mint in the background.

When I was in Culinary School, the focus was always on the basics. This Creme Anglaise Recipe is a basic you absolutely need to have on hand at all times.

From drizzling on cakes to being a base to make ice cream or even as a dip, this sweet, silky smooth sauce is one you just can’t get enough of.

I like making this recipe to serve along with many desserts because it is always an unexpected twist but a welcomed one. I always get asked for the recipe, and my friends and family can’t believe how easy it is to make!

Done in about twenty minutes from start to finish, you can serve it warm or chilled, and it’s absolutely delicious both ways.

This is also a great make-ahead recipe since it will last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days! I tend to keep some on hand almost all the time because you just never know when you might need a sweet, silky, creamy sauce to drizzle over all the things.

You must give my Creme Anglaise Recipe a try as soon as possible, then come back and tell me how obsessed you are, just like I am!

Some of our other favorite vanilla-forward recipes that we have on our site include: Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce, No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream, and Airfryer Vanilla Munchkins Recipe.

A small silver spoon drizzling Creme Anglaise Recipe back into the small glass with pour spout. Sitting on wooden table top, surround by berries and mint.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. Keeps for up to 5 days, making it a fantastic make-ahead recipe.
  2. You can use fresh vanilla beans, vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  3. Easily available, staple pantry ingredients guarantee you probably have everything to make it on hand.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (FULL RECIPE BELOW):

  • Whole vanilla bean
  • Heavy cream
  • Whole milk
  • Large egg yolks
  • Granulated sugar
  • Fine sea salt

Overhead shot showing ingredients needed to make Creme Anglaise Recipe on a grey marble table top.

HOW TO MAKE CREME ANGLAISE RECIPE:

  1. Using a pairing knife, cut the vanilla bean in half, then cut it down the middle lengthwise to expose the inside seeds. Use the back of the knife, and run it along the inside of the vanilla bean to scrape off the seeds. Add the vanilla seeds to a small saucepot along with the empty pod pieces.
  2. Pour the heavy cream and whole milk into the pot with the vanilla pod and seeds. Place the pot over medium-low heat, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer while stirring occasionally.
  3. While the liquid is coming to a simmer, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl until they become pale yellow in color, and the mixture starts to thicken. This will take a minute or two.
  4. Once the liquid comes to a simmer, take it off the heat and discard the vanilla pods.
  5. Use a ladle and very slowly stream the hot liquid into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly and fast, this will help prevent the eggs from solidifying. Continue doing this until all of the liquid is added to the bowl.
  6. Pour the mixture back into the pot and place over medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. It will coat the back of a spoon. When you (carefully!) run your finger across the back of the spoon, the liquid will stay put and not run.
  7. Take it off the heat and strain the mixture into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Allow it to come to room temperature, then cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge to chill until ready to use.

Collage of photos showing how to make Creme Anglaise Recipe on grey marble table top.

CAN I USE VANILLA EXTRACT?

Absolutely. Vanilla beans are on the expensive side, and I understand that most people don’t already have them in their pantries.

They really amp up the vanilla flavor in this sauce and other desserts, so if you ever have the chance to try them, take advantage.

To make this recipe without vanilla beans, you can substitute vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Try still to use pure vanilla extract instead of vanilla flavoring if you can.

Instead of step 1 in the recipe, where you open the vanilla pod, take out the seeds and add them to the pot, you will just totally skip this step. Instead, you will make the recipe exactly as stated the rest of the way. Then, after the custard has been cooked and strained, you will stir in the vanilla extract (2 teaspoons) or vanilla bean paste (2 teaspoons), then continue with the recipe as written.

WHEN IS CREME ANGLAISE DONE?

The tell-tale sign of when creme Anglaise is done is when it coats the back of a spoon.

Because it is hot, you can carefully run your finger along the back of the spoon. It will make a clean mark on the spoon and not drip at all. Then you know it is thickened perfectly.

If the mixture still seems thin to you at this stage, don’t worry. That’s normal. Once the mixture cools, it will thicken up to the perfect consistency.

DO I HAVE TO USE MILK AND HEAVY CREAM?

To get that perfect silky smooth consistency we are looking for without the custard being too thick, we use a mixture of heavy cream and milk.

However, you can use just all milk, I suggest whole milk since it is richer and using all milk will make the custard on the thinner side.

You can also use all heavy cream, this will result in a thicker custard.

Half and half can also be used if that’s what you have on hand.

I have never tried making this recipe with non-dairy milk, so I can’t say it that will work or not. If you do try it and the recipe comes out to your liking, please leave a comment below!

CAN CREME ANGLAISE BE FROZEN?

Even though you can use this creme Anglaise recipe as a base for ice creams, I do not suggest freezing.

Often times if frozen, as it thaws, the mixture will tend to separate, becoming an unpleasant texture. Instead, I like to make it fresh when possible or a few days in advance since it keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Creme Anglaise Recipe being pour out of a glass with pour spout on to a plate with angel food cake and berries. Served on wooden table top.

HOW TO STORE:

Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Make sure to stir it before serving again in case it may have separated a little.

I do not suggest freezing as the sauce may separate as it thaws, making for an unpleasant texture.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • You can easily double it to feed more or halve the recipe as needed.
  • Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste can be used in place of whole vanilla beans, see my tips above on that.
  • This recipe can be made in advance, see my tips above on how to store it properly.
  • Add different extracts after the straining step to switch up the flavor, I suggest coffee, peppermint, orange, or strawberry extracts.
  • Instead of a mixture of heavy cream and milk, you can use other variations, see above on my tips.
  • Can be used to pour over desserts or as a dip.

A slice of angel food cake on a white plate with berries and mint, Creme Anglaise Recipe is pooled on the plate and drizzled over the cake. Served on a wooden table top with mint and milk jug in the background.

Looking for that all-purpose recipe to serve with all the desserts? Then you must try my Creme Anglaise Recipe ASAP!

If you like this recipe, you might also like:

If you’ve tried this CREME ANGLAISE RECIPE, let me know how it turned out in the comments! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes!

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 1 vote

Creme Anglaise Recipe

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
A Creme Anglaise Recipe is an absolute must-have in your recipe box. Silky smooth and made with real vanilla beans, this custard sauce you will make again and again for different desserts.
Servings 2.5 cups

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Using a pairing knife, cut the vanilla bean in half, then cut it down the middle lengthwise to expose the inside seeds. Use the back of the knife, and run it along the inside of the vanilla bean to scrape off the seeds. Add the vanilla seeds to a small saucepot along with the empty pod pieces.
    1 whole vanilla bean
  • Pour the heavy cream and whole milk into the pot with the vanilla pod and seeds. Place the pot over medium-low heat, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer while stirring occasionally. 
    1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup whole milk
  • While the liquid is coming to a simmer, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl until they become pale yellow in color, and the mixture starts to thicken. This will take a minute or two.
    6 large egg yolks, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, pinch fine sea salt
  • Once the liquid comes to a simmer, take it off the heat and discard the vanilla pods. 
  • Use a ladle and very slowly stream the hot liquid into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly and fast, this will help prevent the eggs from solidifying. Continue doing this until all of the liquid is added to the bowl.
  • Pour the mixture back into the pot and place over medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. It will coat the back of a spoon. When you (carefully!) run your finger across the back of the spoon, the liquid will stay put and not run. 
  • Take it off the heat and strain the mixture into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer. Allow it to come to room temperature, then cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge to chill until ready to use.

Video

Notes

  • You can easily double it to feed more or halve the recipe as needed.
  • Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste can be used in place of whole vanilla beans, see my tips above on that.
  • This recipe can be made in advance, see my tips above on how to store it properly.
  • Add different extracts after the straining step to switch up the flavor, I suggest coffee, peppermint, orange, or strawberry extracts.
  • Instead of a mixture of heavy cream and milk, you can use other variations, see above on my tips.
  • Can be used to pour over desserts or as a dip.

Nutrition

Calories: 669kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 560mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 282mg | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 2146IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 236mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Dessert, Sauce
Cuisine French

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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