Creme Patisserie (French Pastry Cream)

This isn’t the vanilla pudding of your childhood! Crème pâtissière is a delicious and thicker version of a traditional custard (creme anglaise). You will most often see creme patisserie in things like filled tarts or Napoleons.

A jar of Creme Patisserie with a spoon, surrounded by homemade custard tarts

If you thought making a creme patisserie at home is difficult, think again. This custard is surprisingly easy, as long as you follow a few simple steps. It is very similar with a creme anglaise except it has added starch to thicken and stabilize it.

Once made, you can dollop your homemade pastry cream into sweet tart shells, profiteroles, or even eat it straight out of the jar!

What Is Creme Patisserie?

a top down view of a jar of Creme Patisserie with filled custard tarts

Crème pâtissière, aka pastry cream, is a variation on a basic custard. It is made with eggs, sugar, milk, and vanilla, and thickened with starch, so it sets beautifully in tarts or tartelettes.

Older recipes call for flour as the thickening agent, but nowadays people use corn or potato starch as it does not impart flavor, and creates a more velvety mouthfeel.

How To Make The Best Creme Patisserie

Creme Patisserie ingredients on a table, with a floured surface and a rolling pin

Like many French dishes, the ingredients are simple – the technique is important. However the technique to make this creme patisserie is quite easy. The only thing you really have to watch out for is making sure the custard does not get too hot as you cook.

Ingredients

500 ml Milk

4 Egg Yolks

45 grams Potato Starch – you can substitute corn starch if you want.

75 grams Sugar – this is about 6 tablespoons plus one teaspoon.

2 grams Vanilla Powder – if you can use a scraped vanilla bean pod that would be even better

45 grams Butter – about 3 tablespoons. Try to use a European butter, or one with more than 82% fat content.

1 pinch Salt

hot milk in a pan with a metal whisk

Place a pan on medium-low heat and add the milk. Bring to a light simmer. While the milk is heating, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla powder, and salt in another bowl.

whisking in butter to finish the Creme Patisserie in the pan

Add the egg mix to the hot milk whisking constantly so the egg doesn’t cook and cause everything to curdle. When you have a shiny mixture add the potato starch and whisk, then drop in the butter and whisk that in until fully melted and combined. Your end mixture should be thick and shiny. Do not let the creme patisserie split – if it looks like it is getting too hot take it off the heat.

a bowl of hot Creme Patisserie

Move the creme patisserie from the pan to a bowl. Press down a sheet of plastic wrap directly into the custard to prevent a film. Let sit until the creme patisserie comes to room temperature, then place in the fridge for later use.

A jar of Creme Patisserie with a spoon, surrounded by homemade custard tarts

How Do You Use Creme Patisserie?

Creme patisserie is one of the most popular French dessert creams and can be used in many ways. Here are a few of my favorite foods that use creme patisserie:

⚜ Eclairs

⚜ Mille-Feuille

⚜ Custard Tarts

Fruit Tarts

⚜ Profiteroles

a jar of creme patisserie surrounded by homemade filled custard tarts on a table

Creme Patisserie

This isn't the vanilla pudding of your childhood! Crème pâtissière is a delicious and thicker version of a traditional custard (creme anglaise). You will most often see creme patisserie in things like filled tarts or Napoleons.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: European, French
Keyword: Custard, Dairy, Pastry, Pastry Cream, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 2.5 cups
Calories: 260kcal
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • 1 Pan

Ingredients

  • 500 ml Milk
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 45 grams Potato Starch you can substitute corn starch if you want.
  • 75 grams Sugar this is about 6 tablespoons plus one teaspoon.
  • 2 grams Vanilla Powder if you can use a scraped vanilla bean pod that would be even better
  • 45 grams Butter about 3 tablespoons. Try to use a European butter or one with more than 82% fat content.
  • 1 pinch Salt

Instructions

  • Add the milk to a pan on medium low heat.
  • In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla powder, and salt.
  • When the milk is hot, add the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Whisk in the potato starch and whisk continuously until you have a thick mixture. Drop in the butter and whisk that in, then pour the custard into a bowl.
  • Press plastic wrap directly into the surface of the custard and allow to come to room temperature before placing in the fridge to chill.

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcal
Did you make this?Mention @CookingToEntertain or tag #cookingtoentertain and let me know how it was!

Creme Patisserie (Pastry Cream / Custard)

Popular Dessert Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through the links it allows the site to make money at no additional cost to you. For more information please see Cooking To Entertain’s Policy page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.