How to make the authentic pastry cream filling recipe. Easy and delicious cream filled pastry, with a creamy, richly textured mixture with the goodness of vanilla. It's the ultimate filling cream for your tarts, puff pastry and other homemade baked goods.
The pastry cream is a very tasty preparation with a smooth and rich texture. It is widely used in French pastry making but also all over the world.
Used in different traditional pastry recipes such as the French galette des rois with frangipane, in the strawberry tart, the tropézienne which is a large brioche cake filled with cream, or to fill the mille-feuille and puff pastry.
Really easy to make, it is composed of basic ingredients, vanilla infused milk, egg yolks or whole eggs, powdered sugar, flour or starch for a lighter cream.
But it's also a very easy recipe to flavor, with chocolate chips, lemon, coffee, coconut and more
The ultimate cream in pastry
This is the ultimate cream in pastry making, it is often found as a filling for fruit tarts but also in pastry recipes such as the chocolate chip cream filling brioches and also used in various frostings recipes when mixed with other ingredients:
- Pastry cream + Butter cream = Mousseline cream (German buttercream)
- Pastry cream + whipped cream = Diplomate cream (Crème Madame)
- Pastry cream + Italian meringue = Crème Chiboust
- Pastry cream + Almond cream : Frangipane cream
Although there are different recipes, the ingredients are often the same, but the texture can be thicker or lighter or richer and more flavourful.
- Milk: semi-skimmed, whole milk or a mixture of milk and heavy cream (the more fat, the firmer the cream is).
- Vanilla: vanilla bean to flavor the basic recipe.
- Eggs: yolks for a richer cream or whole eggs.
- Sugar: Powdered sugar to sweeten the cream.
- Flour: all-purpose flour or cornstarch for a lighter, gluten-free cream.
- Option: to thicken the cream you can add a sheet of gelatine or incorporate butter at the end of cooking.
Flavor your cream easily by adding chocolate, hazelnut praline, mashed fruits etc…
How to make pastry cream
- Bring the milk to a boil with the vanilla bean, split in half and scraped out.
- Beat the yolks with the granulated sugar and cornstarch for 1 minute until smooth.
- Gradually add the hot milk (remove the bean beforehand) while mixing with the whisk until you obtain a homogeneous mixture.
- Return the mixture to a saucepan and heat over medium heat while stirring constantly with the whisk.
- As soon as it starts to boil, continue cooking for one minute.
Tip: Whisk continuously during cooking to avoid lumps.
- Transfer the cream to a clean dish and cover with cling film.
- Then place directly in the refrigerator until completely cooled.
- Mix the cooled cream with a whisk to give it a smooth texture before using it.
Tip: Covering with cling film prevents a crust from forming on the cream.
Frequently asked questions
The cream must be stirred constantly during the cooking process to avoid lumps and to recover it you can pass it through a strainer to get a smoother cream.
It is not recommended to freeze your cream, it loses its texture and its flavor after a time in the freezer.
Other filling recipes
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