Crème anglaise

Crème anglaise

PS Desserts
650 ml
Mark Roper

Crème anglaise is basically custard. It may seem old fashioned to make your own custard but it is an essential part of a pastry chef’s artillery. From these four basic ingredients of milk, cream, sugar and egg yolks, pure magic happens. It adds a decadent finishing touch when served as a sauce to accompany simple fresh berries or a luxe dessert, it’s the building block to any good ice-cream, and I like to use an under-sweetened or “base anglaise” to make my Chocolate Mousse.


Quantity Ingredient
250ml milk
250ml thickened cream, (35% milk fat)
100g caster sugar, (see Notes)
100g egg yolk


  1. Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar into the egg yolk until pale and thick.
  3. Pour one-third of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. This “tempers” or stabilises the egg yolk. If you add all the hot liquid at once, the yolks could “shock” and curdle.
  4. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the pan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly but gently and slowly with a wooden spoon, using a figure-eight movement until the mixture begins to thicken and the bubbles disappear.
  5. The crème anglaise is ready when, if you lift the wooden spoon from the mixture and draw a line with your finger across the back of it, the line remains distinct without liquid running into it for several seconds. If you are unsure, use a thermometer and when the temperature reaches 80ºC, it’s ready.
  6. Pour the crème anglaise into a bowl and place it over a larger bowl half-filled with iced water to arrest the cooking. You will notice a slightly “scrambled” appearance on the base of the pan. This indicates the crème anglaise is cooked properly. Stir the anglaise regularly as it cools.
  7. Once cooled, strain through a sieve. It is ready to serve or use as directed in the recipe.


  • If making a base crème anglaise, omit 50 g of the caster sugar.

    Egg yolks “burn” if left in contact with sugar. The burning causes little nodules that are impossible to get rid of and will spoil the result, so don’t be tempted to add the sugar to the yolk until the milk mixture is hot and ready to go. And make sure you whisk them together immediately.


  • You can store the crème anglaise in the fridge for several days.
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