A classic dessert sauce.


This is vanilla custard thickened with flour. An essential part of the pastry chefs repertoire. The sauce is used as a filling for various pastry confections, as a base for hot dessert soufflés and is a vehicle for dozens of different flavors in the pastry kitchen. As usual, good eggs and a vanilla pod will make for a far superior result.

A lighter version can be made when the stiffly beaten egg whites are added.

The sauce will keep chilled for several days.

The vital cooking tip here is that the sauce must boil.

  • 6 free range yolks
  • 1 ½ oz / 45g flour
  • 4oz / 110g castor sugar
  • 15 fl oz / 450ml milk
  • Vanilla pod


  1. Beat the egg yolks with the castor sugar until thick and light. Stir in the flour. Bring the milk and vanilla pod just to boiling point. Allow to infuse for 15 minutes.
  2. Reheat the milk to boiling point. Add the milk to the egg mixture, whisking all the time.
  3. Replace in a clean saucepan and cook, stirring until the mixture comes to the boil. Allow to simmer for 1 minute. Be careful as the mixture can stick.
  4. Remove from the pot and allow to cool. The sauce will thicken further as it cools. If you wish you can rub a little butter over the surface of the sauce to help to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool, cover and store chilled.