Vanilla-Thyme Crème Anglaise

It doesn’t get more decadent than this sweet, custardy sauce that’s perfect with desserts of all kinds.

  • Serves

    2 cups

  • Cook

    1 hour


By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on November 30, 2022

Crème anglaise—the classic “English” vanilla custard sauce—gains a faint herbal note thanks to a few sprigs of thyme in this no-fuss recipe, which pairs wonderfully with everything from English sticky toffee pudding to molten chocolate cake.


  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • ⅛ tsp. kosher salt


Step 1

Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water and set a smaller bowl inside it. To a medium pot set over medium heat, add the milk, thyme, and vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a simmer.

Step 2

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the sugar and yolks. Gradually whisk ½ cup of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, then pour the egg mixture into the pot. Cook, stirring continuously with a silicone spatula, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spatula, 5–7 minutes.

Step 3

Remove from the heat and strain into the bowl in the ice bath (discard the solids). Stir until cooled slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the ice bath, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

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