Vanilla pastry cream is also known as crème pâtissière in French. It is a perfect base for many desserts such as fruit tarts, mousses, Bavarian creams, ice cream, and more. Made by tempering egg yolks with hot milk then cooking it gently to achieve a smooth, creamy and velvety cream.
Heat milk - Pour milk in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. Cut the vanilla bean in half length-ways, open the pod and scrape the seed. Add the pod as well as the scrapings and let the milk come to a boil.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and cornstarch/cornflour. Whisk until light and almost foamy. You want to get the sugar to almost dissolve. Once the milk is ready. Reduce heat. Remove the pot of milk from the heat. Pro tip - Use a mixing bowl large enough to accommodate the milk.
Tempering the milk - Carefully and gently - pour some of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while still continuously stirring or whisking to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Once more than half the milk has been poured into the eggs mixture the eggs have been tempered. Now, transfer all the milk and egg mixture back into the saucepan.
Then, place the pan back on medium-low heat and continue to cook the pastry cream stirring all the time. When the pastry cream is thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon or spatula add the butter and take it off the heat.Pro tip - The liquid will transform from a foamy liquid to a thick custard with no foam at all.
Strain through a mesh or sieve - discard the vanilla pod as well as any curdled eggs. Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap.Pro tip - straining will ensure a smooth texture and remove any curdled or thickened milk solids.
Let cool completely before you store in the fridge or use as stated in the desired recipe.
Always use good quality ingredients - fresh eggs are very important for this recipe.
Heat the milk with the vanilla bean for a few minutes before you temper the egg yolks. This lets the milk infuse with the vanilla and results in a wonderful rich vanilla flavor.
Whip the egg yolks, sugar, and starch with a whisk until light and fluffy to prevent lumps.
There is no need to rush the tempering process. Take your time and pour the hot milk mixture a little at a time. What is important, is that you continue to move the egg mixture while pouring the milk to prevent curdling.
A whisk or wooden spoon works great when stirring to prevent lumps
You must stir all the time - this will prevent the milk and egg from curdling and you will have a silky smooth custard.
Stirring can be very boring but it is important to keep the heat med-low and stir constantly. Medium-high heat can cause the milk solids to burn easily. You want the mixture to cook and thicken at the same time. If you thicken it too fast, it may curdle but it may also be undercooked. The slow process helps cook the eggs as well as the cornstarch. The mixture will look reduced in quantity when thickened.
This mixture will continue to thicken as it cools and chills in the fridge.
Straining is necessary to remove any lumps - giving you a smooth velvety creamy pastry.
Always cover the top surface of the custard to prevent any skin from forming. If you don't that skin will later result in lumpy pastry cream which can block the piping bags.
Vanilla pastry cream has to be stored in the fridge because it contains eggs and milk. Never leave creme patisserie at room temperature.
Always place the plastic wrap over the surface of the pastry cream, this will prevent a skin from forming.
This can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days only.
You cannot freeze creme patisserie because when thawed it tends to break down. The starch and egg protein separate.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you