Crème anglaise

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Crème Anglaise
Creme anglaise p1050164.jpg
Crème anglaise, flavoured with black flecks of vanilla
Alternative namesEnglish Cream
Drinking Custard
Main ingredientsSugar, egg yolks, milk, vanilla
Crème anglaise over a slice of pain d'épices

Crème anglaise (French for "English cream") is a light pouring custard used as a dessert cream or sauce. It is a mix of sugar, egg yolks, and hot milk often flavoured with vanilla. Its name may derive from the prevalence of sweet custards in English desserts.

The cream is made by whipping egg yolks and sugar together until the yolk is almost white, and then slowly adding hot milk, while whisking. Vanilla beans (seed pods) may be added for extra flavour and visual appeal. The sauce is then cooked over low heat (excessive heating may cause the yolks to cook, resulting in scrambled eggs) and stirred constantly with a spoon until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and then removed from the heat. It is also possible to set the sauce into custard cups and bake in a bain-marie until the egg yolks set. If the sauce reaches too high a temperature, it will curdle, although it can be salvaged by straining into a container placed in an ice bath.[1] Cooking temperature should be between 70 °C (156 °F) and 83 °C (180 °F); the higher the temperature, the thicker the resulting cream, as long as the yolks are fully incorporated into the mixture.

This can be poured as a sauce over cakes or fruits. Alternatively, it can be drunk 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 can also be used as a base for desserts such as ice cream or crème brûlée.

In the American South, it is occasionally known as "drinking custard". It can be served like eggnog during the Christmas season.[2]

Other names include the French terms crème à l'anglaise ("English-style cream") and crème française ("French cream").[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Foundations of Management and Culinary Arts, Level Two, p. 555
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2012-12-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Larousse Gastronomique, 1st English edition, p. 319

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