Baking Tips: Pastry Cream

This is a new type of article where we’re going to give tips and all the information you need to be able to create amazing desserts!

We are starting with Pastry Cream, a classic of classics. Pastry cream is so versatile and can be found in countless desserts all around the world. Strudels, tarts, profiteroles, eclairs, cakes and we wouldn’t finish if we name all the desserts made with pastry cream.

What makes pastry cream so popular? It is because of its versatility, you can put any flavor you want. You need to know where to add the flavor to have a better result. Don’t worry! we’re going to explain it in this article.

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Our recipe consists of 4 main ingredients, milk, egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. This is all you need for the basic pastry cream.

Some recipes call for heavy cream, you can use it but remember to not boil it too much time because the heat will separate the fat from the heavy cream.

We use the yolks because the protein in them starts to coagulate at 65°C (149°F) and resists more temperature than the egg white.

Why cornstarch? Even though the yolks help to thicken preparations, we need more thickening agents so our pastry cream won’t be runny. That’s the reason why we use cornstarch, you can use flour too at half the quantity of the cornstarch. If you use flour, you have to cook your cream more time until the flavor of the raw flour disappears.

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Check out our recipes using pastry cream in the links below

Peach tart with chocolate pastry cream

Strawberry tart

Ingredients

  • 500 g Milk
  • 3 Yolks
  • 120 g Sugar
  • 45 g Cornstarch

Method

  • Heat the milk and half the sugar at medium temperature until boiling. Stir once in a while to make sure the sugar is dissolving.
  • In a bowl, mix yolks, the other half of the sugar and the cornstarch. Mix it until well combined. You should end with a pale and creamy mixture.
  • Once the milk is boiling, turn off the fire and pour half of the milk in the yolk mixture. Mix well until everything is combined.
  • Return all the mixture back to the pot and mix.
  • Cook at medium temperature, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened and the flavor of raw cornstarch is not present.
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Storage tips

  1. Put your pastry cream in a container and cover it with plastic wrap in contact. This is to avoid that the cream on top gets hard and forms a crust.
  2. This cream will last up to two weeks in a freezer and 4 to 5 days in a refrigerator.
  3. You will notice the cream will be compact once you take it out of the fridge. Don’t worry, whisk the cream until smooth.

Flavor tips

  1. Melted chocolate, Nutella, jam, any kind of spread. Add it to the end of the preparation and mix.
  2. Any liquor or essence. Add it at the end of the preparation, when the cream is at room temperature.
  3. Coffee. Add it to the milk and then sift before adding to the yolk mixture.
  4. Lemon, orange zest. Add it to the yolk mixture.

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