Crème anglaise, French for ‘English cream’ is a light pouring custard used as a dessert cream or sauce.
Its origins are probably from ancient Romans who used eggs as thickeners to create custards and creams.
Its name may be derived from a prevalence of sweet custards in English desserts. Crème anglaise may be poured as a sauce over cakes or fruits. It can be eaten as a dessert on its own. For example,
in Île flottante / floating island, the cream is poured into a bowl with a piece of meringue / blancs en neige floated on top along with praline. It may also be used as a base for desserts such as ice cream or crème brûlée. Other names include crème à l’anglaise / English-style cream and crème française / French cream.
Crème Anglaise – Custard Sauce
2 cups (480 ml) light cream or whole milk or half milk-half cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (I used 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
5 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp (48 gr) granulated sugar
- Add cream to a saucepan, scrape vanilla seeds into sauce pan and add pod (or add vanilla extract). Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove pod and turn off heat.
- Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt, until creamy. While whisking, pour a third of the hot milk mixture slowly into yolk mixture. Now, pour entire egg mixture into to saucepan with remainder of hot milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick (about 4~5 minutes).
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
- Enjoy this sauce over preferred dessert or is perfect with Île Flottante / Floating Island.
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