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Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream)

Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream)

Quite similar to crème anglaise but much thicker. It is used in many pastries like choux pastry (pâte à choux) or millefeuille.

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Last modified on: January 27th 2017

For 720 g, you will need:

How long does it take?

PreparationCookingStart to finish
29 min.7 min.36 min.
Preservation: Several days in the fridge, in a closed jar.
At what time?When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
Work this out...

Step by step recipe

1 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #1Pour 500 ml milk into a pan, and add the inside of 1 vanilla pod (the little black seeds) after carefully scraping them out with the tip a knife.

Bring to the boil on medium heat. As soon as it boils, take off the heat, cover and leave vanilla to infuse 10 minutes.
20 min.
2 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #2Meanwhile, put 6 egg yolks in a bowl and add 100 g caster sugar, and without delay beat to mix thoroughly.

It is not necessary to beat for a long time to whiten, so it can be done by hand with a whisk in 1 minute.
2 min.
3 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #3Add then 40 g cornflour, and beat again with the whisk. 3 min.
4 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #4Then slowly pour the hot milk onto the mixture while beating continuously until thoroughly mixed. 2 min.
5 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #5Transfer the mixture back into the pan. 2 min.
6 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #6Unlike for crème anglaise or crème brûlée, it is not essential to remove the froth, it will get mixed in during cooking.

But it's better...
7 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #7Put the pan on low-medium heat, and cook gently while beating continuously.

It's important to scrape the whisk over the bottom of the pan to avoid custard sticking.
7 min.
8 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #8Cooking is complete when custard is of a good consistency, in other words like a thickish purée, but not too firm..

The custard thickens quite quickly, especially if the heat is high, so do not to hesitate to take pan off heat, while continuing to stir, if this happens.

Also, remember that your custard will continue cooking for a little while after being removed from the heat, so bear this in mind when deciding at what point to stop...
9 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #9Once custard is finished, cover the pan to avoid a skin forming.

Later, if you use the custard cold and it is too stiff, beat one or two tablespoonsful of cream into it vigorously.
10 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #10When finished, cream is very hot, if you want to use it immediately you should cool it.

The easier solution is to put it in the fridge, but it's quite long.

The best way is to proceed as chefs, and spread it on a plastic film (to protect from the air) then put it in the fridge.
11 Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream) : Photo of step #11This short video show you how to proceed.

Remarks

It's possible to flavour confectioner's custurd with other things rather than vanilla: coffee, alcohols, etc... You can also make a chocolate custard by folding about 100 g of chocolate, broken in small pieces into the custard with the whisk while it is still hot.

Nutritional information

Whole recipe
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
135648 gr146 gr64 gr
68 %19 %14 %10 %
Per 100 g
CaloriesProteins CarbohydratesFats
1786 gr19 gr8 gr
9 %2 %2 %1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories by day for a woman (change to a man).

How much will it cost?

For 720 g : 3.37 £

Note : These prices are only approximate.

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Source: After Gaston Lenôtre.
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More recipes?

This recipe use (among others)
MilkMilk: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Nantes Tourton, Chocolate sauce, Old style brioche, Chocolate rolls (petits pains), Liège waffles, ... All
Caster sugarCaster sugar: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Little lemon biscuits, Bonnevaux apple tart, Panna cotta, Pogne de Romans, Apple Tatin Terrine, ... All
CornflourCornflour: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Rich hazelnut buttercream, Gâteau Basque , Chocolate eclairs, Peach and verbena feuilleté, French custard tart, ... All
Egg yolkEgg yolk: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Chicken breasts in a potato crust, Chaud-froid of grapefruit, pineapple and lime custard , Thin endive tart, Blanquette of veal, Breton sablé biscuit dough, ... All

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