Crème pâtissière (also known as pastry cream) is a rich, creamy custard made of milk, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. While not an item in itself, it is a key ingredient of many French desserts such as éclairs, fruit tarts, soufflés and mille-feuille. It is usually flavored with vanilla, but it can be easily refined with almost any flavor; chocolate, coffee or even a splash of brandy.
How to make crème pâtissière
- 4 egg yolks
- 60g of fine sugar
- 25g of plain flour
- 2tsps of cornstarch
- 280ml of milk
- 1 vanilla pod or 1tsp of vanilla extract
Beat the egg yolks and sugar for a few minutes until pale and slightly thickened.
Whisk in the flour and the starch.
Bring the milk and vanilla to the boil in a saucepan then remove from heat.
Whisk the hot milk into the egg mix.
Put the whole lot back into the pan, stirring all the time until thick and boiling.
- Take the pan off the heat, cover with cling-film to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool and place in the fridge until needed.
Tip: For a silky smooth finish, whisk the crème pâtissière before using.