Pastry cream is a thick custard that can be used as a filling for any number of cakes, tarts or pastries like eclairs, creme puff or danishes. With so many uses of pastry cream , making pastry cream is one of those basic must know for anyone who are into baking. It’s amazing how this simple cream could actually make a big difference to your bake goodies. They can be flavored in variety of ways too. Although Vanilla is the most common one, Caramel or Chocolate great options too. This is a very simple and quick, recipe to make, let’s get started!
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (Do not use non fat or skim, or any non dairy like Almond Milk , Soy Milk etc)
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- 3 large egg yolks – room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Caramel Pastry Cream – Add 3 tbsp Dulce DeLeche or Salted Caramel Sauce to the final product. Stir until combined.
- Chocolate Pastry Cream – Add 3 tbsp melted chocolate to the final product. Stir until combined.
- Mocha Pastry Cream – Add 1 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder to the hot milk (in step 1)
Tip: If you want to make all vanilla, chocolate or caramel at the same time, just divide mixture into 3 and add desired flavor for each.
- Warm the Milk: In a saucepan bring the cream/milk just to a boil (just until milk starts to foam up or until the tiniest of bubbles appear on the edge of the pan but do NOT completely boil). Stir from time to time to avoid forming a thin “film” on top.
- Egg Yolk Mixture: Mix sugar and egg yolks together until pale in color. Sift flour and cornstarch over the egg yolk mixture. Manually whisk until thick and smooth.
- Warm Cream + Egg Yolk Mixture: Gradually pour warm cream/milk, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
- Cook the Custard Mixture: Pour the mixture back into the saucepan you used to warm the milk and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly (DO NOT leave as it could curdle easily). Keep whisking constantly for 5 – 10 minutes or until the pastry cream becomes thick. The consistency should be thick but not oily. If you reach the stage that the custard becomes oily, then you have over cooked it. Over cooking could cause the oil to separate from the custard. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract or caramel syrup or melted chocolate (depending on the flavor that you are using). The consistency should be smooth and slightly fluid, it should drip from the whisk when you lift it. It should not be too thick. The cream will thicken on its own when it starts to cool.
- Chill: Scrape the pastry cream into a bowl. Cool to room temperature then cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until firm (can be made up to 3 days ahead). Whisk or strain before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.
Note: Lumps in the custard could form if you do not continuously stir it while cooking. If this happens, pass the custard through a strainer to remove any lumps that may have formed.
For Use in Tart
If pastry cream will be used as tart filling, let cool slightly then pour into a pre-baked tart shell. It is important to pour it while it is slightly warm so that it will be easier to spread and you will get a smoother and more leveled filled tart. If using when cold, spread into a pre-baked tart shell and use a spoon or spatula to level the top.
For Use in Eclair of Profiteroles
Chill the pastry cream for at least 1 hour. While the cream is chilling, prepare the Whipped Cream. Pour 1/4 cup of whipping cream then add 1 tbsp confectioners sugar. Beat until thick and fluffy. I have a guide on how to successfully make a whipped cream, check out the post for tips. Fold the whipped cream to the chilled pastry cream. Mix until combined. Chill for another 30 minutes then using a hand mixer, whipped for about 2 minutes or until light and pale in color. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Thank You for visiting my website. Please don’t forget to click the “Like” button below if you like this recipe. Lastly, did you know that I have a YouTube Channel? Please support my channel by clicking on the “Subscribe” button in my video and the “Bell” icon to get notification of new videos.