Creme anglaise is a luxurious French custard sauce that is thickened with lightly cooked egg yolks. This sauce requires vigilance, but the result is well worth the effort. With a kick from instant espresso powder and crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans, this version goes well with chocolate desserts. If you perfume the custard with vanilla extract instead of coffee, you'll have a lightened version of a classic creme anglaise--a delightful sauce for poached pears or just about any fruit.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, Fall 2003


Recipe Summary test

1 hr 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Set a strainer over a medium bowl and have it ready by the stove. Heat milk in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring often to prevent scorching, until steaming and hot but not bubbling. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl.

  • Gradually whisk the hot milk into the eggs. Pour the mixture back into the pan and place it over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight motion, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, 4 to 6 minutes. The temperature should reach 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let the custard boil). Working quickly, strain the custard into the clean bowl. Whisk in instant espresso (or coffee). Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 1/2 hours.

  • Place espresso beans in a sealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or saucepan. Stir into the chilled sauce.


Make Ahead Tip: The custard will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutrition Facts

1 1/2 tablespoons
35 calories; protein 1.3g; carbohydrates 4.4g; sugars 3.9g; fat 1.4g; saturated fat 0.6g; cholesterol 35.7mg; vitamin a iu 91.1IU; folate 5.8mcg; calcium 33.1mg; iron 0.1mg; magnesium 3mg; potassium 41.2mg; sodium 11.7mg.

1 1/2 Tbsp = 1/3 reduced-fat milk