Tahitian Crème Anglaise

Crème Anglaise, a rich custard sauce that can be served hot or cold, is one of the world’s great culinary creations. My version is even better, if I say so myself, because it’s flavored with Tahitian vanilla beans, noted for their intense vanilla flavor, as well as with heavy cream.

This isn’t a diet specialty, of course, but one that’s welcome as an occasional treat. It’s also the basis for a number of super desserts, including a particularly fabulous vanilla ice cream.–Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm

Tahitian Crème Anglaise Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 4 H, 35 M
  • Makes 6 cups


  • 2 vanilla beans, preferably Tahitian
  • 1 quart heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 16 extra-large egg yolks


  • 1. With a paring knife, split the vanilla beans. Using a teaspoon, scrape their insides into a medium saucepan, and add the pods. In the same pan combine the cream, milk, and 1 cup of the sugar and cook over low heat, stirring, just until the mixture becomes hot, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the stove.
  • 2. In a medium bowl, combine the yolks and the remaining cup of sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is pale yellow. Remove 2 cups of the cream mixture from the saucepan and, whisking constantly, add it gradually to the yolk mixture. Stir the lightened yolk mixture back into the saucepan and cook the custard over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sauce thickens sufficiently to coat the spoon, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • 3. Strain the sauce and transfer it to a shallow pan. To avoid a skin forming on the cream, cover it with plastic wrap so the wrap touches its surface. Keep the edges of the wrap raised so steam can escape. Cool in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. Use or store. Lasts 1 week, refrigerated.

Note for Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream

  • Following the manufacturer’s instructions, freeze the Tahitian Crème Anglaise in an ice-cream maker. Continue freezing the ice cream in the freezer, preferably overnight or at least 4 hours, and serve. Fold in 2 cups of bittersweet chocolate chips for Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Hey, there. Just a reminder that all our content is copyright protected. Like a photo? Please don't use it without our written permission. Like a recipe? Kindly contact the publisher listed above for permission before you post it (that's what we did) and rewrite it in your own words. That's the law, kids. And don't forget to link back to this page, where you found it. Thanks!

Back to Tahitian Crème Anglaise on Leite's Culinaria