Pastry cream recipe (Creme patissiere, creme pat etc)

Pastry cream recipe (Creme patissiere, creme pat etc)

Not to be confused with creme anglaise, which is just pouring custard, Creme patissiere (or as we call it pastry cream) is a wonderful thick, set custard.

If you know how to make custard then you won’t have much trouble here, but it’s not that hard so on to the recipe.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)
  •     3 egg yolks (about 50-60g)
  •     45-50g caster sugar
  •     250ml of whole milk or cream (why not double cream)
  •     15g plain flour
  •     20-25g cornflour
  •     Flavouring (optional) vanilla is a must in my opinion, even better if you can get some fresh pods.
  •     Butter, at room temperature(optional, if you want it even creamier)
  •     100ml whipping/double cream (if you want it even lighter)
  •     Mixing bowl
  •     Whisk and/or electric whisk
  •     Saucepan
  •     Measuring jug
  •     Sieve (optional)
  •     cling flim
  •     (plastic) Container big enough to hold it and fit in the fridge (measuring jug?)
Cooking method (5-10+ minutes)
  1.     First put the milk/cream in a saucepan on a medium heat with the flavouring (if using). Keep an eye on it, the most common mistake here is letting the milk boil over so don’t put the heat too high. If you have to set a timer for every minute or two to remind yourself then why not.
  2.     Put the egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar and whisk well for a minute or two, the should be a pale golden colour, slightly thick and nice and foamy.
  3.     Sift in the flour and cornflour if using a sieve and mix well with the egg mix.
  4.     Now the milk should be nearing boiling, if not either wait or turn the heat up, just before it comes to the boil take it off the heat and pour it in a measuring jug.
  5.     Now pour the hot milk on to the egg mix while whisking, I would advise using a hand whisk here as an electric one can get custard bloody everywhere if you’re not careful.
  6.     Pour it all back into the saucepan and return to a medium heat while constantly whisking, it should go nice and thick after a few minutes.
  7.     Pour into a container and cover with clingfilm immediately, this stops it drying out, creating a skin.
  8.     When it’s cooled down put in the fridge.
Optional steps
  1.     If using butter then monte in a few cubes, 50-100g depending on your taste. To monte means whisking the butter in while still warm/hot so it melts in whilst whisking, this creates a wonderful creaminess.
  2.     If using double/whipping cream the whip it, or make a chantilly cream (just remember the extra sugar will add to the sweetness) and fold in to the pastry cream when it’s cold. Folding in is easier with a spatula (I find) and is gently mixing the two together, keeping all the air that’s been whisked into the cream rather than bashing it out.
  3.     Eat 2 litres of the stuff.. yeah that didn’t happen
It should be put into custardy

Only because it so delicious, this stuff originated in France, as you’d probably expect, some time around the 16th century I believe.

It’s most commonly used as a filling for cakes, pastries, pies or tarts and is like the crack cocaine of custard.

Maybe? I bloody love then stuff it goes well with nearly anything sweet, pancakes for example, it’s even nice on toast :D

Looking at price, if you only use the basic milk, egg and sugar (which is still delicious!) it can be a low as about 13p a serving, or about 50p for the above amount.

If you go the whole hog with cream, butter and fresh vanilla pods, whilst you’ll be floating in creamy buttery sugar heaven for a while its going to come at more of a cost, £1.39 a serving or £5.56 for the above recipe!

That said the main cost here is the vanilla pod (about £3) so subbing this for some extract or even flavouring can cut the cost of a deluxe pastry cream to about 50p a serving, so still not too bad for a bit of luxury.

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