Crème pâtissière

Crème pâtissière

By
From
Sweet
Makes
750 g

Crème pâtissière, or pastry cream, is used in fruit tarts, éclairs (see Coffee Éclairs) and all sorts of other puddings. It is basically a custard made with a thickener; in this case, cornflour. Many recipes use flour, but this can cause the milk in the pan to burn and discolour, affecting the taste. I find cornflour much easier and quicker, and it also helps prevent lumps forming. As the crème pâtissière cools down, dust it with icing sugar before you cover it and put it in the fridge. If you don’t, a skin will form and you’ll end up with lumps when you stir it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500ml full-fat milk
1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
5 egg yolks
125g caster sugar
50g cornflour
25g butter
icing sugar, (optional)

Method

  1. Place the milk, vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl, then add the cornflour and whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, stirring all the time, then tip back into the saucepan. Cook over a high heat, still stirring all the time, for 2–3 minutes until the mixture has started to thicken.
  4. Finally, whisk in the butter, remove from the heat and tip into a clean bowl. Cover with a dusting of icing sugar to stop a skin forming, or place a layer of clingfilm over the surface and chill until needed.
Tags:
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
desserts
puddings
sweet
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