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Lavender Custard (Crème Anglaise á la Lavande)

Lavender Custard (Crème Anglaise á la Lavande)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

This perfumed custard, an edible reminder of the purple fields around Sault, the center of the French lavender industry, can be served with Pears in Puff Pastry.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs. pesticide-free fresh or dried
      lavender flowers, without stems


Pour the milk into a saucepan, place over medium heat and heat until small bubbles appear along the edges of the pan.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until creamy. Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan, place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and lightly coats the back of the spoon, about 1 minute. Do not allow it to boil. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the custard should register 180°F.

Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the lavender flowers. Pour the custard into a pitcher, cover with plastic placed directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve. Return the custard to the pitcher, cover with clean plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface, and refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving. Serve 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Provence, by Diane Holuigue (Time-Life Books, 2002).