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Crème Anglaise Recipe

It only takes 4 ingredients and 15 minutes to make a smooth and creamy crème anglaise from scratch. This is a great recipe to try if it's your first time making this classic French vanilla custard sauce. Serve it hot or cold to make your favorite desserts even more delicious.
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2 cups
Calories: 231kcal

Ingredients

Crème Anglaise

  • 250 grams whole milk
  • 60 grams egg yolks
  • 30 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 whole vanilla bean

Equipment

  • fine mesh strainer

Instructions

Making the Crème Anglaise

  • First, cut your vanilla bean in half lengthwise and carefully scrape the seeds out with a knife. If you don't have fresh vanilla bean pods, you can use 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract instead.
  • Add the milk, vanilla bean seeds, and the vanilla pod into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat. Pro-tip: use a heavy saucepan to help prevent the milk from burning.
  • Bring the milk to a simmer and then remove it from the heat. We are not trying to boil the milk, just heat it enough to infuse it with the vanilla flavor.
  • Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl to break them up.
  • Add 1/3 of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, then whisk to combine. This will temper the eggs just enough so that they don't curdle when you add them to the hot milk.
  • Add the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan and cook it over medium-low heat.
  • Whisk the mixture constantly until it begins to gently bubble and thicken. Be very careful not to overheat the mixture. 
  • Cook the mixture to 83°C (180°F) or "a la nappe." When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and you can drag your finger across the center without the sauce dripping, it's ready. I like to use an instant-read thermometer from ThermoWorks.
  • Strain the crème anglaise through a fine sieve into a clean bowl to remove the vanilla fibers.
  • Cover it with plastic wrap and make sure that the plastic wrap is touching the top of the sauce to avoid a skin forming. If you want to serve the crème anglaise hot, heat it over a bain-marie to keep it warm. Or if you want to serve it cold, cool it down faster using an ice bath.
  • This recipe will last in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Notes

Important Things To Note Before You Start
  1. Practice Mise en Place (everything in its place). Measure out your ingredients ahead of time and have them ready right before you start mixing to reduce the chances of accidentally leaving something out.
  2. Fresh vanilla beans add a special quality to crème Anglaise and really make the flavor come alive. Don’t have a vanilla bean? No problem! You can substitute with 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or a high-quality vanilla extract.
  3. Milk is the primary ingredient in this recipe. Some recipes use half milk and half cream, but the more traditional method calls for milk only.

Nutrition

Serving: 57grams | Calories: 231kcal (12%) | Carbohydrates: 22g (7%) | Protein: 9g (18%) | Fat: 12g (18%) | Saturated Fat: 5g (25%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 339mg (113%) | Sodium: 62mg (3%) | Potassium: 221mg (6%) | Sugar: 21g (23%) | Vitamin A: 635IU (13%) | Calcium: 193mg (19%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)