Crème Pâtissière is one of the foundation cream of pastry baking and is a base for many other creams and fillings.
It’s also known as pastry cream or ‘crème pat’, it is basically a custard made from eggs, milk, all-purpose flour (or if you want to add richness you can use custard powder or cornstarch), sugar and vanilla.
Crème Pâtissière is a thick smooth custard cream that is used as a filling for many pastry variations, starting from tarts and cake and in more of a signature dishes like soufflés and mille-feuille.
The method of making Crème Pâtissière
There are various ways in making Crème Pâtissière, I will show in this recipe a real detailed method adapted from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon bakery cookbook. In this version we will form a very thick custard that is a great base for many other creams.
We are starting this cream by creating a nice puffed egg yolks and sugar mix in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, this stage is successful if the cream is thick and creates a ribbon shape when you lift the whisk.
This is the point to add the custard powder or flour to make this even thicker, because in a minute we will add the milk and the whole batter will be much more light.
The next stage is where we put the runny batter in a saucepan and starts thickening it like a custard. It is a process that takes about 5-7 minutes and in this process we are losing most of the liquids and forming a sauce that will be very rich.
like I said this version is the long one “by the book” and we continue by straining the cream thru a fine mesh strainer over a double bowl with ice in it in order to get a really smooth paste and to stop the cooking of the custard immediately.
I will go over the detailed process of the recipe below so just keep in mind that this custard forms very quality smooth Crème Pâtissière that is the base of many other creams.
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mixing the batter
Set an ice bath and place a medium bowl over the ice water and a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
place yolks and scraped vanilla bean in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk for 30 seconds, add the sugar and mix for another 2 minutes on medium speed. scrape the bowl and mix for 3 more minutes on medium-high speed.
the batter should be puffed pale yellow and thick and when the whisk is lifted a dissolving ribbon forms.
reduce speed to low and add the custard powder, mix for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the milk while the mixer is working on lowest speed.
scrape the bowl again and mix for another minute until combined.
cooking the batter
pour the mixture to a large saucepan and place on medium heat.
stir gently until it begins to thicken.
switch into a whisk and whisk as the cream comes to a simmer.
once bubbles are breaking the surface cook for 3 more minutes while constantly whisking.
strain the mixture
Pour the pastry cream thru the strainer pressing it gently to push the thickened cream through.
Mix for another minute in the chilled bowl to cool the cream and whisk the butter in 2 additions.
Place the pastry cream into a container and cover with a plastic wrap against the surface to prevent skin from foaming.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour, it can be in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Yaron has been cooking since he was 15 years old and only on his early 20's started to work professionally in restaurants, specializing in French, Italian and Japanese cuisines. After owning a few restaurants, the focus became more of the online culinary aspects of this fascinating profession.
when not cooking, or talking about food (most of the time), Yaron practice Yoga and the morning routine has to include Yoga practice.
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