Creme Anglaise (Or Vanilla Custard)

Creme Anglaise.  Seriously guys, this stuff will change your life.

Creme Anglaise


I like to say the words “Creme Anglaise.”  It makes me feel classier than I really am.  But if you were at my house and I was serving this dish to you for dessert I’d tell you that I was serving you vanilla custard because while I can pretend to be classy by writing the words “Creme Anglaise” on a computer,  I am sure I am butchering how to say it in real life.  Using words I am not familiar with is not my strength.  And using french words? I don’t even know why I even try.

Speaking of words that are hard to say in real life, this week in homeschooling we learned the word “onomatopoeia.”  I had to enlist my husband’s help in teaching the kids how to say it.  By the end of the lesson everyone could pronounce it properly except me.  I clearly have a problem.  Maybe the kids should be the teacher and I should be the student.

Regardless, this is the dish you want to make if you want to win friends.  I have only made this dessert for my family, but next time I have company over I am definitely making this.  Except that I am short on ramekins.  So if my friends are reading this and want me to make you some Creme Anglais, bring me some ramekins. 🙂  I will pay you in dessert.

Even if you aren’t having company over, you might as well double or triple this recipe.  Because it’s just that delicious.

Creme Anglais can seem intimidating, but the key thing to remember is just to keep the heat low, and stir it a lot.  If you do that, you should be fine.

So….here’s what you do to make your new favorite dessert. 🙂

Pour a cup of milk and a cup of half and half cream in a pot.  Heat it on low until it gets nice and steamy.  Watch it carefully though, you don’t want it to start boiling.   Make sure to stir it so the milk doesn’t scald on the bottom.

While the milk and cream are warming, whisk your 5 egg yolks in a bowl.  Add the sugar.  Whisk until it is mixed well.

Creme Anglaise

When the milk and cream are done warming up, take your spoon and scoop a few spoonfuls into your egg mixture to “temper” your eggs.  Tempering your eggs just means you are warming them up a little at a time instead of shocking them.  If you shock them by mixing them into the hot milk all at once you will have scrambled chunky eggs in your custard.  Scrambled eggs have their place, but I promise you, it is not in your custard.

Once you’ve “tempered” your eggs, pour the egg mixture into your pot with the milk and cream.  Continue to heat on low.  Be sure to stir it frequently.  I may have turned the heat up to just below medium because I got impatient, but if you do that you run the risk of scrambling your eggs. So, do as I say, not as I do.  and stir, stir, stir!!!

You know it is done when you can run your finger down the back of your wooden spoon and it leaves a trace.  Like this:

Creme anglaise

When it is thick enough, mix in the vanilla.  Remove from heat and let it cool.  It will continue to thicken as it cools.

Pour into individual dishes and try to share.

If you do find there are little chunks of egg in your finished custard, you can strain it. I haven’t had any issues with chunks in mine.

I love that we have our own farm fresh eggs right here on our property now, but this dish had me yearning for a dairy cow, or some dairy goats. I can only imagine how much more amazing that would make this dessert.

Creme Anglaise

Creme Anglaise

Creme Anglais (Vanilla Custard)

Servings 4 people


  • 1 cup half & half cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Warm the milk and cream on low heat just until it starts steaming.  You don't want it boiling.
  • While you are heating the milk, beat the egg yolks and add the sugar.  Whisk until completely combined.
  • Once the milk and cream are warmed, pour a few spoonfuls of the mixture and mix well into the eggs to "temper" them.   You want to warm the eggs up without shocking them into turning into scrambled eggs.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the milk and cream mixture and continue to heat on low stirring often.  
  • It is done when it starts to lightly thicken or when you can run your finger down a the back of a wooden spoon and leave a trace.  When it is done mix in the vanilla.
  • Pour the mixture over your favorite berries and serve!



2 thoughts on “Creme Anglaise (Or Vanilla Custard)”

  1. Sherry Stinchcombe

    Yummy, Amanda. I am going try this for sure. Terry has such a sweet tooth I know he’ll love it. I love Crème Brule so I know I’ll love this too. xo

    1. Sam is a creme brulee lover too so I will have to make that sometime as well.:) I have quite the sweet tooth myself. 🙂

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