Crème pâtissière, or pastry cream is a rich, creamy custard that is thickened with egg yolk and starch, often used in French pastry desserts such as fruit tarts, choux buns, cream puffs and fillings for some cakes.
What is pastry cream?
The pastry cream (Creme Patissiere) is made up of egg yolks, milk, a thickening agent, and vanilla. It's a luxurious, creamy mixture that sits inside the tart case and will be what the fruit ultimately is arranged on. It's delicious!
The trick to a silky smooth pastry cream is to make sure you stir whilst on the heat, and don't stop stirring until it's thickened! Pass it through a sieve afterward to make sure it's as smooth as can be and the addition of butter when it's cooled for 5 minutes will give it an absolutely wonderful shine and added richness.
Is pastry cream the same as vanilla pudding?
Pastry cream is very similar to vanilla pudding and custard. Both are cooked on the stovetop in a similar way, however, pastry cream uses starch as a thickening agent whereas pudding and custard usually rely on just the eggs for thickening the mixture. Don't confuse this pastry cream with vanilla sauce. Vanilla sauce is used more as a pouring sauce over desserts such as fruit pies. It's delicious but very different from pastry cream!
1 ½ pints or 680ml
8 egg yolks
120g or ⅔ cup regular sugar
6 & ½ tablespoons all purpose plain flour
4 tsp cornflour
560 ml or 19 fl oz milk
200g or 7 oz unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Plastic Wrap
- Bowl and whisk
- Using a hand whisk, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and slightly thickened.
2. Whisk in the flours.
3. Heat the milk in a saucepan until you see it starting to boil then remove from heat.
4. Whisk the milk into the egg mix.
This is known as tempering and done to avoid the hot milk from scrambling the eggs when combined
5. Transfer the mixture back into the pan, stirring all the time until thick and boiling.
You need to stir constantly to avoid the mixture getting lumpy!
The pastry cream will thicken and turn darker in color. You will also notice the foam/bubbles will have disappeared. Once thick, remove from the heat immediately.
6. Return the pastry cream to the mixing bowl by passing through a sieve to get any lumps out.
7. Add the butter and vanilla extract and combine.
Do not add the butter until AFTER you have passed the mixture through a sieve as it will be too hot and likely to cause the pastry cream to split and go grainy.
The addition of butter at this point will give the custard mixture a silky shine and richness
8. Cover with plastic wrap, ensuring the wrap is directly touching the surface of the mixture to avoid a skin from forming.
9. Refrigerate until completely cold.
If your pastry cream is too stiff from refrigeration, simply give it a whisk to loosen. If it’s still too stiff, add 1 tablespoon of milk and whisk and it should be spreadable again.
Once chilled, you can use your pastry cream for adding to whatever dessert you have planned.
How do you use leftover pastry cream?
Pastry cream can be used as a base for fruit in tarts, piped into profiteroles and chocolate eclairs, used as a filling for Vanilla slices or spread between layers of cake, or as a filling for a sweet pie, such as a Boston Cream Pie
How long does pastry cream last in fridge?
Pastry cream will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days
We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our recipe. Did you make any changes or add some other ingredients? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!
How To Make French Pastry Cream (Crème Pâtissière)
Crème pâtissière, or pastry cream is a rich, creamy custard that is thickened with egg yolk and starch, often used in French pastry desserts
- 8 egg yolks
- 120g or ⅔ cup regular sugar
- 6 & ½ tablespoons all purpose plain flour
- 4 tsp cornflour
- 560 ml or 19 fl oz milk
- 200g or 7 oz unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Using a hand whisk, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and slightly thickened.
- Whisk in the flours.
- Heat the milk in a saucepan until you see it starting to boil then remove from heat.
- Whisk the milk into the egg mix.
- Transfer the mixture back into the pan, stirring all the time until thick and boiling.
The pastry cream will thicken and turn darker in color. Once thick, remove from the heat immediately.
- Return the pastry cream to the mixing bowl by passing through a sieve to get any lumps out.
- Add the butter and vanilla extract and combine.
- Cover with plastic wrap, ensuring the wrap is directly touching the surface of the mixture to avoid a skin from forming.
- Refrigerate until completely cold.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2710Total Fat: 209gSaturated Fat: 120gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 78gCholesterol: 1949mgSodium: 361mgCarbohydrates: 173gFiber: 0gSugar: 164gProtein: 43g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate
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