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Pastry cream

Crème pâtissière
Rich, smooth pastry cream adds the gourmet touch that makes countless desserts irresistible. Try this recipe for a lump-free version with an ideal consistency.
Crème pâtissière

Ingredients

  • 125 mL (½ cup) sugar 
  • 80 mL (1/3 cup) whole wheat flour 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 500 mL (2 cups) milk, heated 
  • 2 mL (½ tsp.) vanilla
  • Serves:750 mL (3 cups)
  • Level:Easy
  • Preparation time:5 minutes
  • Cooking Time:20 minutes
  • Total time:3 hours 25 minutes

Method

  • Mix sugar and flour in a saucepan away from the heat. Whisk in eggs until incorporated. 
  • Heat the mixture over medium-low for about 1 minute. Gradually pour in hot milk and vanilla, adding a little at a time and whisking constantly until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cold, for at least 3 hours. 
  • Use the pastry cream as a pie filling or in trifle, or serve with fresh fruit.

Make it your own

Do you know that you can flavour pastry cream? Once it has set, simply add the flavouring of your choice in the right quantity for the taste you want. 
  • Lemon, orange, or lime zest
  • Caramel flavouring 
  • Almond or coconut flavouring 
  • Melted chocolate (dark, milk, or white)
  • Instant coffee (diluted in a little hot water)
  • Orange blossom water

Pastry cream: the foundation

From much-loved profiteroles to grandma’s trifle, pastry cream is just as the name implies: an essential ingredient for pastries! Here are a few easy ways to bake with it.
Tarte aux fruits

Fresh fruit flan

Cover a sponge-cake flan base with a layer of pastry cream. Arrange a selection of fruit on top in a pretty pattern. Be creative! Dust with a little icing sugar before serving.  

Gourmet flavour combinations  

Coconut pastry cream + exotic fruit + toasted coconut shavings

Vanilla pastry cream + fresh strawberries + mint leaves 

Caramel pastry cream + sliced bananas + melted dark chocolate


Bagatelle

Trifle

The perfect way to use up cake trimmings, trifles are made of layered cake and smooth cream. Layer chunks of cake, pastry cream, and chopped fruit in a large trifle bowl. Cover with whipped cream and chopped fruit. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours to let the cake soak up some of the moisture from the cream. 

Gourmet flavour combinations

Lemon pastry cream + white cake cubes + fresh raspberries + limoncello-spiked whipped cream 

Chocolate pastry cream + chocolate cake cubes + black cherries + whipped cream with kirsch 

Orange pastry cream + white cake cubes + stewed cranberries + Grand Marnier whipped cream

Choux Éclairs

Cream puffs and éclairs

These classics of French cuisine are easy to make and create a sensation! All you need to do is prepare choux pastry, bake it in the shapes you want, and fill the cooled pastries with cream. Decorate with melted chocolate or maple butter for a mouth-watering finishing touch. 

  

Gourmet flavour combinations

Coffee pastry cream + melted dark chocolate 

Almond pastry cream + white melted chocolate + garnish of slivered almonds