Pastry Cream (Crème Pâtissière)

Do you like to binge Great British Bake Off as much as I do? I’ve been watching since it began over a decade ago. Back when I had no idea what they were referring to when they would make a “creme pat”, though it looked tasty!

Turns out that term is short for Crème Pâtissière, or Pastry Cream. Similar in taste and texture to vanilla pudding, it’s the custard you find in a tart or filling a donut. It is closely related to Crème Anglaise, which is thinner and pourable.

Pastry cream is a staple recipe to master if you want to up your baking game. It can be intimidating, because you need to temper the eggs. But don’t worry! It just takes a little patience, and the rich flavor is worth the extra effort.

If you’ve only ever bought store-bought vanilla pudding, try this homemade Pastry Cream. The hardest part is not sneaking too many delicious tastes while you’re making it!

Making Pastry Cream for Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Pastry Cream (Crème Pâtissière)
(Original recipe: Life Love and Sugar)

1 egg yolk, gently beaten
3 TBSP sugar
3/4 TBSP cornstarch
9 TBSP milk
1/2 TBSP salted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Add the sugar, cornstarch, and milk to a large saucepan and mix until smooth. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add a little bit of milk mixture to the egg yolk and whisk together, then add egg mixture to milk mixture. Place the pan back on the heat and bring to a light boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

Pastry Cream tart topped with Blueberry Compote

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