Vanilla Custard Sauce

Vanilla ice cream is always wonderful with pie, but for something a little different try this Vanilla Custard Sauce.

It’s crucial that you watch it carefully and use moderate heat so it doesn’t curdle and turn into sweet scrambled eggs. It can be used warm, but it’s more full bodied and tastes better – I think – when served cold.

The No-More-Tears Pie Pastry Course

Vanilla Custard Sauce


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups light cream or half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium-size bowl.
  2. Bring the cream to a near simmer in a medium-size saucepan over moderate heat. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk the hot cream into the yolks, adding about 1/3 cup at a time. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Stir the custard over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, nonstop, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. A finger, drawn across the spoon, should leave a path in the sauce. DO NOT BOIL.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour into a medium size bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Let cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. This will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Whisk briefly before serving. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.