An easy cream dessert made the tiramisu way - with sponge fingers soaked in coffee-baileys…
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Pastry cream, also known as crème pâtissière, is a rich and creamy custard that is used in various types of desserts. It is versatile in its use, and can be used to fill desserts like cream puffs, éclairs, Japanese pancakes, fruit tartlets. Find out how to make pastry cream in this easy and delicious recipe – with just 5 basic ingredients and 10 mins of your time!
What Is Pastry Cream?
Making pastry cream is an essential and basic skill in pastry making. It is a delicious, rich and creamy custard, thickened with starch and eggs. We can also make different flavors for pastry cream by adding in chocolate, fruit powder, alcohol, tea leaves etc.
Pastry cream can be used to fill:
- cream puffs
- fruit tartlets
- mille feuille
- Gâteau Basque
Here are some types of custard:
- Creme Anglaise – This is a liquid version of pastry cream. It contains the same ingredients as pastry cream, except for the starch. Since it is not thickened, it is used as a thick, sweet sauce that can be poured over desserts such as crepe. Creme anglaise may also be used as the base for buttercream.
- Creme Patissiere (Pastry Cream) – This is a thickened version of custard, and can be piped. Starch is added to thicken it.
- Creme Diplomat – We make creme diplomat by folding creme patissiere together with whipped cream and/or gelatine, which can also be piped. It tastes very much lighter than creme patissiere and creme anglaise.
What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Pastry Cream?
- Whole Milk: Chilled fresh milk or UHT full cream milk will work for this recipe.
- Egg: You can use either whole egg or substitute 1 whole egg with 2 egg yolks.
- Caster Sugar
- Cake Flour: Use any type of low protein flour, such as cake flour or top flour.
- Vanilla Extract: For a really creamy and tasty pastry cream, use a good quality vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. I don’t really like the taste of vanilla essence in pastry cream, but if you really don’t have vanilla extract, you can still use vanilla essence.
How To Make Pastry Cream
One important step in pastry cream making is to temper the egg. As egg can curdle easily, we will whisk in 1/2 portion of the hot milk gradually into the egg. This brings the temperature of the egg up gradually, before we add the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan to heat thoroughly till it thickens.
To prevent curdling, it is important to keep whisking as we add the hot milk, and also when we add the mixture back to the saucepan.
If it is your first time doing this, be careful to not scald yourself. Place the mixing bowl on a piece of tea towel and stream in the milk slowly.
How To Store Pastry Cream
Since pastry cream is made using milk and egg, we will have to store it in the fridge. After making the pastry cream, strain it immediately into a heat-proof airtight container. Press a piece of cling wrap onto the surface of the pastry cream, to avoid a skin from forming. Let it cool completely before putting on the lid and refrigerate it.
Pastry cream can last about 3 days in the fridge.