The Essential Guide to Creme Anglaise

A key player in French desserts, Crème anglaise is an important part of any dessert-lover’s recipe arsenal.

Who doesn’t love cooking or baking with vanilla? This month, we’re partnering with Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen to share tips, insights and recipes featuring vanilla.

Crème anglaise is a basic French dessert preparation that is the building block of a vanilla sauce. Pour it over fruit or chocolate cake, use it as a base for ice cream or crème brulee, or simply have some straight up – it’s delicious in all incarnations. Here, we invite you to try it in its purest form with some baked Bosc pears.

Basic crème anglaise takes all of about 10 minutes to make. (In a pinch, you could just let vanilla ice cream melt and use that as a sauce with no one the wiser. It is made of the same components, just frozen.) You may make the sauce ahead of time and keep a batch stored, covered in the fridge for up to a week. It will develop a skin on top, but simply scrape that off before using. Or, you can freeze it and just let it thaw when needed (or churn it up and enjoy it as ice cream).

This recipe calls for Bosc pears because they are sweet, tender and bake quickly. You could use any other variety really, but others may need a few more minutes in the oven -- depending on their ripeness.

Live.Love.Lux Tip: Simmer to perfection with your Electrolux Gas Range — learn how the precise heat control yields delicious results.

Cardamom Roasted Pears in Creme Anglaise with Gingersnap Crumbles

"I use cream and milk for a richer sauce here, but some prefer a thinner sauce and only use milk." - Sara

Servings: 4



1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

Half a vanilla bean

1/3 cup natural cane sugar

3 egg yolks

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoon natural cane sugar

2 tablespoon orange juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

Pinch of sea salt

2 ripe Bosc pears

3/4 cup crushed gingersnap cookies or graham crackers


Start by making the crème anglaise. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cream, milk, seeds from the vanilla bean to just warm. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks.

Once the cream starts to just simmer, whisk some into the yolks to temper them. Pour the yolk mixture into the pot, continuing to mix with a rubber spatula until just thickened. Do not overcook; you’ll know it is done when it coats the back of a wooden spoon. It will thicken as it chills.

Pour the crème anglaise into another bowl and chill it in the fridge until ready to use (If you have a fine mesh strainer, strain the sauce before chilling to be sure to remove any pieces of egg yolk that may have cooked).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a small saucepan, warm the butter, sugar, orange juice, cardamom and a pinch of sea salt until the butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Pour the mixture into the bottom of a pie dish or alternative small baking dish.

Cut the pears in half lengthwise and scoop out the cores. Put them cut side down in the butter mixture and spoon some over the top of the pears as well. Bake them on the middle rack for 15 minutes just to warm through.

Serve each pear half in a puddle of the crème anglaise and sprinkle the cookies on top.

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