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Vanilla pastry cream is a must for many great pastries. It is a rich custard that can be used in making Cream Puffs, Eclairs, Trifles, Boston Cream Pie, Mille Feuille, filling for Donuts, or eating with fresh berries. It's thicker and richer than vanilla pudding!
This Vanilla pastry cream doesn't take long to make and it is not complicated. We know when you see the French name for this pastry cream, Crème Pâtissière you might think, wow this will be hard, but it isn't. You make it like you're making a pudding only tempering the eggs and adding some butter. Let it chill and you are ready to add it to any pastry that you like.
This pastry cream is what you get in a a lot of pastries using a cream filling. Boston cream pie is pastry cream layered between two layers of sponge cake. It can be the custard filling for a cream pie then layered with berries for a rich looking dessert. One of our favorites is the filling for cream puffs or eclairs, but for this, we mix some whipped cream into the pastry cream to lighten it up. Hope you try some of these.
Ingredients for the cream:
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
- vanilla extract
- egg yolks
Making the Vanilla Pastry Cream:
In a saucepan, bring the milk and cream almost to a boil; you want it hot. You can see little bubbles forming at the sides of the pan. While this is getting hot, work on the egg part of the recipe.
While the milk and cream are heating, take another saucepan and add the eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Mix with a whisk until it is all combined and thick.
Tempering the eggs:
Now is the time to temper the eggs; this is whisking the hot milk a little at a time into the egg mixture. You don't want to scramble the eggs. It is easier if you pour about ⅓ to ½ cups of hot liquid into the pan and whisk until incorporated. Then, add a little more and more until both mixtures are hot. Now, you can pour the rest of the milk into the egg pan and whisk till all mixed together.
Keep whisking the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil and gets nice and thick. Don't walk away, you must keep an eye on this so that it doesn't burn. After it reaches the boil, just keep whisking for about another two minutes so it will be nice and thick. You can tell when the back of a spoon gets thick custard on it and you can run your finger across it and the mark stays that way.
Once it is nice and thick, take it off of the burner and add the butter. Then, mix it into the custard.
Now, add the flavoring of vanilla to the custard.
When the pastry cream is finished, pour it into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap sits on top of the custard and not just covers it. This will allow it to cool without developing a skin on top.
Now, it is cooled and ready to be used any way that you want it .Print
Vanilla Pastry Cream
This is a nice thick custard and can be used for many desserts.
- Prep Time: 15 mins.
- Cook Time: 10-15 mins.
- Total Time: 2hr. 30 mins.
- 3 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- 10 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, add the milk, cream, and salt. Heat until the milk gets hot, just under the boiling stage, hot, but not boiling. Little bubbles form around the edge of the pan when it is simmering.
- In another saucepan, add the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Mix until everything is combined and smooth, the batter will get thick.
- Now, temper the milk into the egg mixture. slowly pour the hot milk, about ⅓ of a cup at a time, into the egg mixture while you continually whisk until the temperatures of the milk and egg mixture are about even. You can now pour all of the milk into the pan and whisk.
- Put the mixture back on the burner and bring to a boil while whisking until it becomes thick. Boil for about 1 to 2 minutes or until really thick.
- Take off the burner and add the butter. Mix to incorporate.
- Add the vanilla and mix.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should be put directly onto the custard itself.
- Chill for several hours before using.