Crème pâtissière

Crème pâtissière

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Makes
300 ml
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Crème pâtissière, or pastry cream, is used as a sweet filling, in éclairs and millefeuille, for example. It can be lightened by folding in 100ml lightly whipped double cream at the end.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300ml whole milk
1/2 vanilla pod
or a few drops vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
15g plain flour
15g cornflour

Method

  1. Put the milk in a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod, if using, down one side, then scrape out the seeds. Add the pod and seeds to the milk and place the pan over a medium heat. Heat gently until steaming. Just before it bubbles, take off the heat and remove the vanilla pod and any skin that has formed.
  2. Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Add a splash of the hot milk, then the flours. Mix well, ensuring there are no lumps. Gradually stir in the remaining milk. Return the mixture to a clean pan and place over a low to medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring. It will go lumpy, but stir vigorously and it will become smooth. Turn the heat down and simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract, if using. Transfer to a bowl and lay a disc of greaseproof paper on the surface, to prevent a skin forming. Set aside to cool.
  4. Once cool, transfer the crème pâtissière to a food processor and blend until soft and smooth. It is now ready for use.

Variations

  • To make almond crème pâtissière, stir 2 tbsp ground almonds and ½–1 tsp Amaretto, to taste, into the finished mixture.

    To make coffee crème pâtissière, replace 30–50ml of the milk with strong espresso coffee, to taste.
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