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Creme Anglaise vs. Creme Patissiere: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on February 3, 2024
Creme Anglaise is a thin custard sauce made with milk, eggs, and sugar, often flavored with vanilla, while Creme Patissiere is a thick, starch-based pastry cream used in desserts and pastries.

Key Differences

Creme Anglaise is a light, pourable custard sauce, often used as a dessert topping, made primarily from milk, sugar, and egg yolks. In contrast, Creme Patissiere is a thicker, starch-thickened cream typically used as a filling for pastries and desserts. It includes similar ingredients but with the addition of a thickening agent like flour or cornstarch.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024
The texture of Creme Anglaise is smooth and liquid, ideal for pouring over desserts like fruit or cake. Creme Patissiere, being denser and richer, is commonly used as a filling for éclairs, fruit tarts, and other baked goods. Its consistency is key for holding shapes within pastries.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024
Both Creme Anglaise and Creme Patissiere are often flavored with vanilla, but Creme Anglaise can also be served with other flavorings like chocolate or coffee. Creme Patissiere, while also versatile in flavor, retains its distinct texture regardless of the added flavor.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024
Preparing Creme Anglaise involves careful heating to avoid curdling, as it remains a delicate sauce. Creme Patissiere requires a more robust cooking process due to the addition of starch, ensuring a thick consistency without being lumpy.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024
Both creams have a significant place in French cuisine. Creme Anglaise is often seen as a foundation in learning dessert sauces, while Creme Patissiere is a staple in classic French pastry making.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 03, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Thickness

Thin and pourable
Thick and firm
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

Primary Use

Dessert sauce
Pastry filling
Huma Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Ingredients

Milk, sugar, egg yolks
Milk, sugar, egg yolks, flour/cornstarch
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

Cooking Technique

Gentle heating to avoid curdling
Cooked until thick to hold shape
Aimie Carlson
Feb 03, 2024

Common Flavors

Vanilla, but adaptable to many flavors
Often vanilla, adaptable to other flavors
Harlon Moss
Feb 03, 2024
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Culinary Role

Enhances desserts like fruits and puddings
Essential for filled pastries like éclairs
Janet White
Feb 03, 2024

Creme Anglaise and Creme Patissiere Definitions

Creme Anglaise

A sweet, thin sauce made from cream, eggs, and sugar.
For the dessert, creme anglaise was poured over the warm brownie.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Creme Patissiere

A thick pastry cream used as a filling for éclairs and tarts.
The creme patissiere filled the choux pastry, making a delicious éclair.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Creme Anglaise

A pourable dessert custard used in French cuisine.
The chef garnished the fruit tart with creme anglaise.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Creme Patissiere

A starch-thickened custard flavored typically with vanilla.
She piped creme patissiere into the tart shells before adding fruit.
Huma Saeed
Jan 05, 2024

Creme Anglaise

A versatile sauce that can be flavored with various ingredients.
The creme anglaise was infused with orange zest for a citrus twist.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

Creme Patissiere

A staple in French baking, used in various pastries.
For the mille-feuille, layers of puff pastry were alternated with creme patissiere.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Creme Anglaise

A foundation of many desserts, often used as a base for ice cream.
They learned to make creme anglaise in the first week of culinary school.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Creme Patissiere

A versatile filling that can be flavored with chocolate, fruit, or spices.
The pastry chef prepared a chocolate creme patissiere for the profiteroles.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Creme Anglaise

A light, vanilla-flavored custard sauce.
The poached pear was served with a drizzle of creme anglaise.
Sara Rehman
Jan 05, 2024

Creme Patissiere

A rich, creamy texture, essential for many traditional French desserts.
The classic fruit tart was perfected with a smooth layer of creme patissiere.
Janet White
Jan 05, 2024

FAQs

What is the main difference between creme anglaise and creme patissiere?

Creme anglaise is a thin, pourable custard sauce, while creme patissiere is a thick pastry cream used as a filling.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

What's the risk in making creme anglaise?

Overheating can cause the eggs to curdle, turning the sauce lumpy.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

Can creme patissiere be flavored with something other than vanilla?

Yes, it's versatile and can be flavored with chocolate, fruit, or spices.
Janet White
Feb 03, 2024

Is creme patissiere suitable for a lactose-intolerant diet?

No, it contains milk and cream.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

How long can creme patissiere be stored?

It can be refrigerated for up to three days.
Harlon Moss
Feb 03, 2024

Can I use creme patissiere instead of creme anglaise in a recipe?

They serve different purposes; creme patissiere is too thick to replace creme anglaise as a sauce.
Huma Saeed
Feb 03, 2024

Is creme anglaise served hot or cold?

It can be served either way, depending on the dessert.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

Is creme anglaise suitable for vegans?

No, it contains eggs and dairy.
Harlon Moss
Feb 03, 2024

Can creme patissiere be used as a cake topping?

It's too thick for a topping but perfect as a filling.
Janet White
Feb 03, 2024

How do you prevent lumps in creme anglaise?

Constant stirring and gentle heat are crucial.
Janet White
Feb 03, 2024

What's the best way to thicken creme patissiere?

The key is the right amount of flour or cornstarch cooked properly.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

What's the secret to a smooth creme patissiere?

Proper cooking and thorough whisking to prevent lumps.
Janet White
Feb 03, 2024

Are there low-fat versions of creme anglaise?

Yes, using low-fat milk and less cream can reduce fat content.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

Can creme anglaise be used as a base for other desserts?

Yes, it's often used as a base for ice cream and other custard-based desserts.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

Can creme anglaise be frozen?

Freezing is not recommended as it can alter the texture.
Harlon Moss
Feb 03, 2024

What pastries are commonly filled with creme patissiere?

Éclairs, fruit tarts, and Danish pastries are popular choices.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

Is cornstarch or flour better for creme patissiere?

Both work, but cornstarch gives a smoother texture.
Sara Rehman
Feb 03, 2024

How can I flavor creme anglaise uniquely?

Infuse it with herbs, spices, or citrus zest for a unique twist.
Janet White
Feb 03, 2024

Can creme anglaise be made in advance?

Yes, it can be refrigerated and gently reheated.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 03, 2024

Can creme patissiere be lightened in texture?

Whipping cream can be folded in for a lighter texture.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 03, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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