No doubt about it.. I love pastry… French, German, Swiss, Austrian… you name it… the flaky pastry with that creamy vanilla cream… heaven in your mouth….
Pastry creams are relatively the same… a basic vanilla custard like cream… some have more eggs than others… but overall… very much the same. This recipe I’m about to post is very basic… you can alter it by adding all sorts of things… from coffee to liquors …
You can use it in many recipes calling for pastry cream or even pudding for fillings.
The recipe is adapted from a Le Cordon Bleu recipe… but to be absolutely fair it is important to note… that this is a basic pastry cream that many others have made as well.
As I mentioned … this is an adapted recipe… I used the original Le Cordon Bleu recipe as a guide. The problem with it was that it was in grams and ml…. the ml were no problem at all.. measuring cups have both cups and mls.. so that was fine.
The problem was converting the sugar, flour and cornstarch… seems everyone had a different conversion… some were not even close to each other either… converting it is not as simple as one would assume … it seems the weight plays a role in the conversion… so I estimated and experimented.
I originally used 3 tablespoons each of flour and cornstarch… I found the pastry cream a little too thick… I ended up adding a splash of milk and whisking vigorously .. it smoothed right out perfectly.
If your pastry cream ends up a bit too thick for your tastes… add a small splash of milk and whisk it… add more as needed and whisk vigorously…. the cream should smooth right out.
I subsequently decreased the amounts and they worked better.. the result was softer and creamier.
I converted the sugar quantity to ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons and that worked out very well… you can use more or less to your tastes.
I love the flavor of vanilla.. so this has a strong vanilla flavor.. if you like a more subtle flavor start by adding less than my recipe and adjust as you taste it to your tastes.
The key to the smooth texture is whisking vigorously throughout cooking.
The cream will burn easily… a heavy bottomed saucepan is recommended… make sure you whisk all over the bottom… especially in the corners … if it burns on it will leave a burn taste in your cream.
If you don’t have a vanilla bean… use the extract quantity instead.
Have all the ingredients and utensils ready since cooking will move fast.
So let’s start making this delicious cream…
Recipe: Pastry Cream
All you need:
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
500 ml (or 2 cups plus 4 tablespoons) whole milk
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or to taste
All you need to do:
Combine about ½ of the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk until they are pale yellow.
In a small bowl, combine the flour and cornstarch (I stir with a whisk to mix evenly).
Add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and whisk until smooth, it will form a paste.
In a heavy bottom saucepan, add the milk, remaining sugar and vanilla bean.
Heat to boiling, do not leave unattended.
Remove from the heat and remove the vanilla bean. (you can slit the vanilla bean and scrap out the vanilla beans and add them to the milk if you want).
Using a ladle, add a small amount of hot milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add a bit more hot milk to the mixture. (You are tempering the egg yolk mixture so it won’t cook the eggs into a scramble when you add the rest into the pot).
Add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the saucepan, whisking constantly.
Return the saucepan to the heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly and vigorously.
Pastry cream will thicken quickly. Remove from the heat. If lumps occur, whisk vigorously to smooth out, if it still has lumps or is too thick, add a splash of milk and whisk vigorously.
If cooked egg pieces appear in your pastry cream, strain through a sieve.
Pour the pastry cream into a heat proof bowl.
Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool. Whisk again before using.
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