Creamy vanilla pastry cream, used in many types of dessert. Perfect for profiteroles and eclairs. This recipe is gluten free, and also dairy free friendly.Easy - This is an easy recipe, but requires constant supervision. Please read recipe fully before proceeding. US based cup, teaspoon, tablespoon measurements. Common Measurement Conversions
2 ½tbspcornstarch (cornflour) (3 tbsp / 30 g for a stiffer pastry cream)
1tbspvanilla bean paste / extract / 1 vanilla bean pod
3large egg yolks
1large egg(please see notes)
If using vanilla bean pods, split the bean and scrape the vanilla seeds/caviar out of the beans.
Add the bean and caviar with the milk into a saucepan. Heat the milk over medium high heat and bring it to a simmer, almost to a boil. (See notes)
While the milk is being heated, place the sugar, egg and yolks, cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Whisk until you have a thick, smooth mix. (If you are using vanilla bean paste or extract, add it to the egg mix too). Place the bowl with the egg mix on a towel or napkin (to prevent the bowl from slipping while whisking, in the next step), and set aside until the milk comes to a boil (almost to a boil).
As soon as the milk starts to simmer / bubble, remove it from the heat. Slowly pour about a half of the hot milk in a thin stream, into the egg mix, WHILE WHISKING CONSTANTLY to temper the egg mix. When the eggs have been tempered, add the egg mix back into the hot milk in the saucepan.
Heat the custard base, over medium heat, while whisking vigorously until it starts to thicken - this should take about 1 - 2 minutes depending on the heat of your stove and size of your saucepan.
While whisking, let the custard come to a boil (the custard will release bubbles). Lower the heat and cook for a further 1-2 minutes after you see the first bubbles break the surface. Lower the heat and whisk constantly for about 30 - 60 seconds after the first bubbles break the surface.
Remove from the heat and add the butter. Whisk in the butter, until it’s completely mixed in.
Pour the custard into a bowl and immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is touching the whole surface. This is to prevent a custard skin from forming on top. You can also choose to pass the custard through a sieve to remove any lumps.
Let the custard cool down to room temperature and then let it chill in the fridge for a few hours, until it’s completely chilled.
Use as needed after the pastry cream has been chilled.
For a thicker and richer vanilla creme patissiere, you can substitute the whole egg with 3 egg yolks (6 egg yolks in total).
For a dairy-free version, substitute the milk and butter with a plant-based milk like almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk or even soy milk and a plant based butter.
You can choose to bring the milk to a boil, or just let it come to a simmer. It was important to boil the milk back in the days when milk wasn't pasteurized. However, I have not noticed any difference in the pastry cream consistency when using boiling milk vs steaming hot milk.