Jay's Vanilla Sauce

As a child and teenager I would love to go to Horn & Hardart's restaurants in New York, the famous "Automats".  My very favorite dish there was  "Warm Apple Pie with Hot Vanilla Sauce".

I re-created this experience with a simple sauce.   It can be made in a few minutes.  Use it over warm apple pie for guaranteed raves.  Of course it's great as a topping for many other dishes (try bread pudding, for example).


1 TB Sweet Butter

2 TB Flour or Corn Starch

1-1/2 to 2 c. Milk or Half and half

1/3 c. Sugar

1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract


In a heavy 1 or 1-1/2 quart saucepan, add the flour to the butter and cook for 2 minutes over medium low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Should it start to get too hot, remove the pan from the heat until it cools a bit (remember, this is a white sauce, so don't let it brown).

On low heat, very gradually add the liquid.  You can use anything from low-fat milk to half and half or even cream, depending on how rich a sauce you want.  I usually just use 2% milk.  Mix in the sugar and the vanilla.  Whisk the sauce until it just comes to a boil, then serve.

Serve the apple pie slices warm, in flat-bottomed bowls, with a spoon.  Pour on about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the hot sauce and decorate the top with a little sprinkle of cinnamon.  Your diners will swoon over this one!


Posted February 1999

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