Creme anglaise is the base of classic vanilla ice cream and creme brulee. It is also delicious when served over cake, cookies, fruit, or meringues. The term "creme anglaise" refers to an English-style custard otherwise known as a "pouring custard." Basically, it's a sauce made with heavy cream, egg yolks, and real vanilla pods. It's utterly delicious, but also loaded with calories and fat, especially saturated fat.
Here is a lighter version of this decadent custard sauce. Our recipe is super easy to make and tastes especially delicious when served over fresh berries. The cornstarch in this version adds thickness and keeps the egg from curdling. If possible, you should use real vanilla extract in order to add the tiny black seeds pictured above (and to enrich the sauce). Vanilla pods add a depth of flavor, scent, and texture to any dish, so the closer you can get to the real thing, the better. Did you know that vanilla actually comes from an orchid?
Vanilla Custard Sauce
2 cups skim milk or soy milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup nonfat egg substitute (or one egg)
1 tsp real vanilla extract or the seeds of 1/4 vanilla bean
Use 1/2 cup of a variety of fruits for each person. Try a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Any soft fruit (such as kiwi, bananas, mangoes, and peaches) will also work.
- Mix the milk, sugar, and corn starch together in a small mixing bowl with a whisk. Add the egg substitute and mix again.
- Pour the custard into a small sauce pan. Heat over medium high, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
- Chill in the refrigerator. Adjust the consistency with a little more milk or fat-free half and half.
- Serve over chilled berries or fruit.
Serves 6. Each serving: 95 calories.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.