Creme patissiere, or pastry cream, is a vanilla-flavored filling for French fruit tarts and pastries. Don't be tempted to buy a packaged mix, as this creme patissiere recipe is easy to make and will keep for several days in the fridge. Adjust the sugar to make the pastry cream as sweet as you like.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 2 cups milk
- 5 egg yolks
- 6 to 8 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring)
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the milk with the vanilla bean almost to boiling.
While the milk is heating, mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl, then whisk in the flour and cornstarch until the mixture is smooth.
Remove the vanilla bean from the milk, and gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan, and place over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and reaches a boil. Continue cooking for half a minute longer, stirring hard and constantly to keep the pastry cream smooth.
Remove the pastry cream from the heat. (Stir in the vanilla flavoring at this point if you did not use a vanilla bean). Place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to avoid a skin forming, and leave to cool.
The pastry cream can be used when cool, or covered and refrigerated for up to several days until needed. Stir chilled pastry cream before using.