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+ servings

Vanilla Sauce / Sauce Anglaise

Here is the classic Vanilla Sauce! Perfect for serving with apple tarts and many fruit pies.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 portions


  • 2.5 dl milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean spit and scraped OR
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 75 grams sugar plain white


  • Place the split vanilla bean and the milk in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer, remove from the stove and let the vanilla bean infuse with the milk for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a small bowl place the egg yolks and the sugar and beat with a whisk or a hand held electric mixer until the sugar and eggs double in volume and become pale in color. If you are using vanilla extract add it at this time. This should take about 4-5 minutes.After the milk has sat for 10 minutes infusing, place it back on the heat and heat until it is just ready to simmer.
  • Now pour the milk into the egg mixer 1/3 of it at a time, stirring it all the time to be sure not to scramble the eggs. When all the milk has been incorporated pour it back into the sauce pan through a sieve to remove the vanilla bean and any bits of cooked egg white that you might have in the mixture and place on the stove over a low heat.
  • Now heat the milk and eggs to thicken the yolks. You will have to stir the entire time but this should only take a few minutes. Don't take your eye off of it for a moment.
  • Slowly bring the mixture up in heat until it is thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  • The mixture must never boil.
  • When thickened remove from the heat and place the pan into a bowl of very cold water to stop the cooking. Place the pan into another bowl of cold water with ice to chill as quickly as possible.
  • Whisk the sauce occasionally while the sauce is cooling.


I love vanilla sauce, it is of course perfect on so many deserts particularly fruit deserts and pies. It is after you have made it once or twice a very easy and straight forward recipe so long as you remember to stir all the time once it goes back onto the stove and not let it get too hot.
Vanilla sauce made with real vanilla is so superior to ready made, I promise. I do admit there are a couple of rather good ready made sauces but made at home with the best vanilla in the world it is definitely better. You might be tempted to use commercial vanilla sugar (Dan Sukkar). Please don't, it is really garbage and not suitable for anything at all. I have to say it is one of the worse products for baking I have come across and has nothing to do with vanilla. If this is your choice then just buy ready made vanilla sauce and save yourself the work.
The best vanilla pods are grown in Madagascar, Indonesia, and Mexico. I generally use vanilla essence made from Madagascar Bourbon vanilla pods. It is expensive but you use very little of it each time. I also purchase mine over the internet as it saves money.
For some really interesting information about vanilla and the history of vanilla go to Nielsen -Massey Vanillas Inc. For a place to buy good vanilla see Lakeland Creative Kitchenware in the UK.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!