Creme patissiere is basically a delicious, sweet, creamy vanilla cream which has been thickened with starch. It is a very important component for many desserts, e.g. vanilla or chocolate pudding, the filling for eclairs or profiteroles. It is also used to fill up millefeuille (puff pastry with crème patissière and jam or fruit) and functions as a basis for many fruit tarts and other pastries.
Ingredients (makes approx 1/2 L of Crème Patissière)
- 1/4 vanilla bean pod
- 250 ml milk
- 7.5 gr. flour
- 1- gr. cornstarch
- 45 gr. white sugar (you cannot substitute this for brown sugar!)
- 3 egg yolks
Split the bean and scrape the vanilla seeds out of the 1/4 bean.
While the milk is being heated, split your eggs and put the yolks and the whites in a separate bowl. Add the sugar to the yolks and mix (this is called a ‘ruban’). Due to the natural oxidation process, it would be possible that the ‘ruban’ will become lighter in colour, but this doesn’t affect taste or quality. Now add the flour and cornstarch to the egg mix, and stir thoroughly until you have a thick, smooth mix. Place this egg mix aside until the milk comes to a boil.
As soon as the milk almost starts to bubble, remove it from the heat. I prefer not to let the milk boil, and to even let it cool down a bit. Reason for this is that I do not want to risk the eggs cooking when we poor in the hot milk. (we would then basically end up with an omelette with sugar in it, which we do not want!)
Once the milk is warm rather than piping hot, slowly poor in about a quarter of the milk into the egg mix, whilst whisking continuously. This is to bring the eggs up to the temperate of the milk, without cooking the eggs. As soon as the egg mix is warmed up, you can add all the milk into the egg mix, stir and then return to the saucepan.
While whisking, let the custard come to a boil (so you can see bubbles). Then cook the cream for another 1-2 minutes after you see the first bubbles break the surface. Remove from the heat and poor into a bowl. To prevent a cream skin from forming on top, I recommend you cover the surface with plastic wrap and ensure that the wrap touches the cream surface completely.