A classic, easy custard made using only egg as the thickener, no cornflour. Also known as Creme Anglaise, this is rich and stunning! www.recipetineats.com
Print Recipe
5 from 12 votes

Custard (aka Creme Anglaise)

A beautiful, classic pouring custard recipe, made the proper way with just egg as a thickener - no cornflour. Also known as Creme Anglaise. This recipe makes 1 1/3 cups of Custard which is enough for 4 - 5 servings. It's quite rich so a little goes a long way! Recipe video below. Picture with the ever popular Easy Moist Apple Cake.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Sweet
Servings: 5
Calories: 242kcal
Author: Nagi


  • 1 vanilla bean (Note 1)
  • 1 cup / 250ml heavy / thickened cream (Note 2)
  • 1/4 cup / 65 ml milk (whole or reduced fat, not zero fat)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup / 50g white sugar, preferably caster / superfine


  • Using a small knife, cut a slit down the length of the vanilla bean then scrape out seeds (see video).
  • Place cream, milk and vanilla seeds + vanilla bean into a small saucepan over medium heat. When it just comes to simmer, remove and cool for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place yolks and sugar in a bowl. Whisk for 2 minutes until it becomes a bit pale.
  • Remove vanilla pod from milk and discard.
  • While whisking, SLOWLY pour milk into the eggs. Then pour it back into the saucepan.
  • Return to low heat (can use medium low if on electric). Whisk regularly for first 3 minutes, then pretty much constantly for the next 5 minutes, or until the custard coats the back of a spoon. You should be able to draw a path (see video).
  • Remove from heat.
  • Optional: strain to make extra silky smooth.
  • Keeps for 3 days in the fridge. Custard will thicken slightly more as it cools to room temperature. Do not freeze. See note 3 for suggested uses.


1. Vanilla bean will give this a truly fabulous vanilla flavour but you could use 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract instead. Vanilla essence is artificial so it won't provide as nice a flavour.
Vanilla Beans are a bit of a treat, they start at $6 for 2 beans at the stores (here in Australia). You can get better value online, even from Ebay! It gives the most amazing vanilla flavour to whatever you use, especially when you infuse the milk with the used bean, like in this recipe.
To make the most of it, what I do is rinse then dry the used bean. Then pop it in a jar of white sugar to make vanilla infused sugar. If you use that sugar with a bit of vanilla bean paste or extract, the flavour you get will be as though you made it using a vanilla bean. I find that 1 used bean infuses 1 cup of sugar quite nicely. My stash is ongoing and it's only when I empty the jar completely that I toss out the beans (I have no idea which have been in there for how long!) and start again.
2. I like to use cream with 35%+ fat because it gives the custard richness. However, this recipe will work with cream with less fat, albeit it will need to reduce a bit more to achieve the same thickness.
3. Serve with desserts, over fruit, pancakes, waffles, bread & butter pudding.
4. Custard nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings.


Serving: 82g | Calories: 242kcal