French desserts are subtle. Instead of an explosion of sugar and sprinkles, French desserts are often based on delicate rich flavors like butter, cream, and the classic French custard: crème anglaise.
What is crème anglaise?
This saucy custard is a classic element of French pastries. It’s made from a mixture of sugar, egg yolks, and hot milk. This richly-flavored pudding has a thin texture that makes it perfect for dipping or drizzling. It can be flavored with vanilla beans, chocolate, or any flavoring extract that you choose.
How to use crème anglaise
In our Fireside Feast box, we used chocolate peppermint crème anglaise to create a luxurious dipping sauce for biscotti. For an even simpler use, try pouring it over freshly-cut strawberries or drizzling it over cakes or pies. This thin custard is also the base of a classic French dessert: Crème brûlée.
How to make crème anglaise
Eggs, sugar, and milk are whisked over heat until the egg cooks and thickens the custard. Traditionally this dish is made without cornstarch, but some modern recipes may use cornstarch as a shortcut to ensure that the mixture thickens properly. After the mixture has been heated, it should be covered and chilled in an ice bath or in the refrigerator. Covering the custard helps prevent a skin from forming, and chilling thickens the sauce even further.
Try it at home
Blue Apron’s Fireside Feast makes preparing dessert easy. Our recipe for chocolate chip & almond biscotti with peppermint-chocolate dipping sauce uses pre-made crème anglaise to deliver a rich, indulgent dipping sauce that comes together in just a few minutes. Read about social media manager’s first-hand experience making the fireside feast here, and order a box of your own through your account page or the Blue Apron Market.