Have you ever wanted to have your ice cream and drink it too? No? Just me? Okay, then. Well, if you ever decide to become a weirdo, like me, you need to get in the kitchen and get this Crème Anglaise recipe working.
Crème Anglaise literally translates to “English Cream”. I’m pretty sure it was named for a member of the royal house who insisted her brownie needed a little something more. I’m no food anthropologist, though, so don’t quote me on it.
Grab the following:
For a small batch (about 2 cups of crème anglaise) you’ll need two egg yolks, vanilla bean paste, whole milk, kosher salt, and sugar. That’s it and that’s all. Didn’t I tell you it was easy? (Ya gotta trust me more)
Scald the milk
Unless a different milk is called for by the recipe’s author, always, always, always use whole milk in your recipes. Whole milk has all the fat you’ll need to make a sauce that has a great mouth-feel (did you just cringe, because I kinda did).
Okay, so, in your saucier begin heating your whole milk over medium-low heat. You don’t need to boil it or stir it, you just need to let it heat until steam begins to rise from the surface of the milk.
…in a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks (save the whites for another recipe), sugar, and the kosher salt. Work on this while you wait for your milk to heat. Keep an eye on the milk, though, so it doesn’t scorch or boil.
Use your whisk to whip together the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Whisk vigorously until the egg yolks are light, airy, and pale yellow in color. When lifted from the eggs, the whisk should leave ribbons. That’s how thick you want them to be.
Temper the eggs
Anytime you’re thickening a sauce with eggs, tempering them with the hot milk is vital in preventing scrambled eggs. Scoop out a cup of the hot milk and slowly (like, a trickle- not a deluge) stream it into the eggs, while whisking the entire time. The key to preventing that scrambled egg effect is to keep the hot liquid drizzling in while moving those eggs around so they don’t have a chance to get all hot and bothered.
Once that cup of milk has been whisked in, pour the tempered egg mixture back into the pot of heated milk. The same technique- that whole streaming and whisking deal. At this point, add the vanilla bean paste. Add it now to preserve as much of that vanilla flavor as possible.
Heat the Crème Anglaise
After you’ve added the tempered eggs to your pot, continue whisking over low heat until the crème anglaise thickens. Don’t whip the crème anglaise, just slowly stir it to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot and scorching, or worse- curdling (egads!).
Once the sauce coats the back of a spoon and the edges hold the line you draw through it with your finger (as pictured) it’s done! You can transfer the crème anglaise to some cute little jars (I just love these little ones), or serve it straight from the pot.
Crème Anglaise is one of those chameleon sauces which tastes great, hot or cold. I prefer it warm, but, I gotta be honest; I’d eat it at whatever temp. I’d probably even drink it if no one were watching. If you’re in the mood for getting fancy, pour some of your Crème Anglaise into this great server.
Dip these Churros into it and prepare for your world to be rocked. Like, legit rocked.
Crème Anglaise should be stored in the fridge and nuked in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute to warm it up. Try to warm up only what you plan to eat because, you know- the warming up, cooling down, warming back up thing…that usually leads to some gut issues. Use it alllllll up within a week of making it. It’s seriously so easy, you can make it whenever you have an inclination to. So I’d keep it to smallish batches. You could double the recipe if you need the sauce in larger quantities, though.
Don’t forget to pin and share this quick and easy Crème Anglaise recipe and wow your friends with your new royal, English vanilla sauce, because we fancy now!
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Crème Anglaise (Warm Vanilla Bean Sauce)
This quick and easy, small-batch dessert sauce is perfect for topping all of your favorite desserts.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
In a saucier- or a pot with sloped sides- scald the milk until it begins to steam. Watch the milk so that it doesn't scorch or boil over.
While the milk is heating, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and kosher salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Whisk the egg yolks vigorously until they are light, airy, and pale yellow in color. When lifted from the eggs, the whisk should leave ribbons.
Once the egg yolks are whipped and the milk heated, scoop out a cup of the hot milk and slowly drizzle it into the eggs- whisking the entire time.
After you've mixed in the entire cup of milk, pour the tempered egg mixture back into the pot of heated milk. Add the vanilla bean paste to the mixture and stir to mix it in well.
Once you've added the tempered eggs to your pot, continue whisking over low heat until the crème anglaise thickens. Don't whip the crème anglaise, instead slowly stir it to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pot and scorching.
The sauce will thicken and should coat the back of a spoon when finished. To check, draw a line through the sauce on the backside of the spoon. The line should remain. If it doesn't, heat for a few more minutes.
Crème Anglaise may be served hot or cold.
Store any leftover crème anglaise in the fridge for up to one week.
Heat the crème anglaise in the microwave for 30 seconds-1 minute to warm it up. Try to warm up only what you plan to eat.
The recipe can be doubled if you need larger quantities.
Here are more of my favorite dessert sauces: