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.
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?
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
⚜ Custard Tarts
- 1 Pan
- 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
- 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.
Creme Patisserie (Pastry Cream / Custard)
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