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Vanilla Pastry Cream / Creme Anglaise (Dorie Greenspan)

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“This recipe for Crème Anglaise is from "Desserts by Pierre Herme" by Pierre Herme, Dorie Greenspan uses a whole vanilla bean for maximum vanilla flavour. You can use it in fruit tarts (top a baked pie crust with the cream and then glazed fruit) or in Gateau Basque (French Custard or Jam Tart) .”
2 cups

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 plump, moist vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 13 cup cornstarch, sifted
  • 3 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into 3 pats (1 3/4 ounces)


  1. Bring the milk and vanilla bean (pulp and pod) to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pan, turn off the heat, and allow the milk to infuse for at least 10 minutes or for up to 1 hour.
  2. If the milk has cooled, it will need to be reheated now.
  3. Whisk the yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Whisking constantly, drizzle one-quarter of the hot milk over the yolks. When the yolks are warm, whisk the remainder of the milk into the yolks in a steadier stream; remove and discard the pod (or save it to make vanilla sugar).
  4. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, bring the mixture to the boil. Keep at the boil—still whisking energetically—for 1 to 2 minutes before pulling the pan from the heat and pressing the cream through a sieve into the small bowl. Let the cream sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the butter. Cover the cream with a piece of plastic wrap—press the wrap against the cream—and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. You can speed up the chill by putting the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water. (Keeping: Covered tightly with plastic wrap, pastry cream can be refrigerated for 2 days. To smooth the chilled cream, whisk it for a few seconds.).

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