It is a fundamental ingredient in traditional pastries like profiteroles and chocolate eclairs
A fundamental baking ingredient, pastry cream is a simple and versatile recipe and is essential for a large number of desserts, including cakes, pies, and more. It is also found in traditional Spanish pastries like roscón de reyes and ensaimada.
It is believed that pastry cream was created by the French or the Italians 4 centuries ago. Thanks to its simple preparation and ideal texture, this cream continues to have just as much importance today as it did in the past.
How To Make Pastry Cream
To make pastry cream, you only need 6 ingredients: milk, vanilla, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and butter.
In a saucepan, heat 1 liter of milk and ½ vanilla bean pod over low heat. In another bowl, mix 175 grams of egg yolks with 250 grams of sugar. Add 100 grams of cornstarch and mix well, ensuring that the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Bring the milk to a boil and remove the vanilla. Pour the milk into the bowl with the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Mix everything well and return to the saucepan.
Turn the stove to medium heat and stir, cooking until your desired consistency is achieved. Finally, remove from heat and add 50 grams of butter.
How To Use Pastry Cream
Pastry cream is a very useful ingredient when making a variety of sweets, as it is especially valued for its flavor and creamy texture. It is ideal with just about any puff pastry, like Spanish milhojas, and combines well with slightly acidic fresh fruit, like strawberries, kiwi, raspberries, or blueberries. Furthermore, it is a perfect complement to desserts made with shortcrust pastry dough.
Tips and Recommendations
It is also possible to add additional ingredients to the original pastry cream recipe to achieve an original and unique flavor. For a chocolate-flavored cream, simply add chocolate chips or chopped chocolate when boiling the milk.
Pastry cream is also delicious with a touch of tartness. For a lemon version, add some lemon peel when heating the milk and vanilla. You can do the same with orange peel, or alternatively add a splash of fresh squeezed orange juice.
To make a coffee pastry cream, add 2 packets of instant coffee to the warmed milk. This version is perfect for making some decadent coffee and vanilla milhojas.
You can store your pastry cream in the refrigerator for up to 4 days after you make it, given that it contains dairy and eggs. However, it is always preferable to use it instantly.
With such a simple preparation, it is always a good idea to perfect the pastry cream recipe and technique to be able to use it at any moment.