(Crème Patissière/Creme Pat)
Crème Patissière, (also known as Creme Pat, but most commonly Pastry Cream), is so easy to make you will wonder why you didn’t make it before. Add to your pastries & cakes or use to make some other amazing fillings.
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What Is Pastry Cream/Crème Patissière?
Pastry Cream is a thick egg based creamy filling, believed to have originated in France or Italy in the 17th century, but is similar to our custard we have here in the UK. Made in a similar way, the Crème Patissière is a little firmer, making it suitable to use as a filling for the fanciest of patisseries.
What Is In Pastry Cream?
Pastry Cream is made up of egg yolks, milk, flour, cornflour/starch, butter & vanilla.
What Do You Use Pastry Cream For?
There are many uses for Creme Pat. Use as a filling in your favourite pastries. Examples being these individual shortcrust tarts, filled with the creme pat & fresh fruit as seen in the photo.
You can also add to cakes as an alternative to a buttercream filling. Use in-between layers of puff pastry to make a Mille Feuille (French Napoleon).
Or why not try the pastry cream in my individual tarts? Bake as normal and add the cooled creme pat to the cooled pastry cases. Go to Individual Chocolate Tarts recipe for all you need to succeed with pastry.
Use in my Apple Blueberry Salted caramel Filo Nests, in place of the caramel sauce
You can even fold in double cream (heavy/whipping cream), and make a lighter cream known as Diplomat Cream (Crème Diplomate) that can also be stabilized with gelatin. Sweeten the whipped cream and it is known as Creme Legere. The likes of the Diplomat Cream are used in recipes such as Fraisier Cake.
Is Pastry Cream Hard To Make?
This Creme Pat, is not hard to make and is a relatively quick process.
Do I Need Special Baking Equipment?
This simple Crème Patissière recipe, doesn’t require any special baking equipment. Only a cooking pot, mixing bowls, a whisk, & scales or measuring cups/measuring spoons.
Perfect Recipe To Use Up Egg Yolks
If you have left-over egg yolks from making say Macarons, meringues or even Angle Food Cake, this is the perfect way to make use of them. The recipe can easily be halved or doubled according to how many egg yolks you have. (Note in the video tutorial, I was making half the quantity).
How Much Pastry Cream Does It Make?
The recipe as is, makes about 1 cup or 300g worth of pastry cream. You can easily halve or double the recipe.
What Type Of Vanilla To Use?
Vanilla extract rather than Vanilla flavouring or essence is highly recommended for any baking. Making your own Vanilla Extract is very rewarding, can work out less expensive and tastes even better than shop bought. Read my article on How To Make Home-made Vanilla Extract.
Can It Be Made Gluten Free?
This recipe uses a little flour and cornflour/starch, so if you use Gluten free cornflour/starch and flour, then it should still work.
Crème Pâtissière – Creme Pat – Pastry Cream
Now on to the recipe, and how to easily make this creme pat, including a video tutorial at the end.
- Measuring Scales, Cups or Measuring spoons
- Measuring Jug
- Small Cooking Pot
- Wooden spoon
- Medium mixing bowl
- Cling film/plastic wrap
- Bowl for cooling the cream
- 60 grams Caster Sugar (4 tbsp, Extra/Super Fine Sugar)
- 2 tbsp Corn Flour (Cornstarch)
- 4 tbsp Plain Flour (All Purpose Flour)
- 6 Med-Large Egg Yolks (L-XL US sized)
- 280 ml Milk (9½ fl oz. 1+ ⅙ cup)
- 50 grams Butter, unsalted & small cubes (1¾ oz)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (Read how to make your own Vanilla Extract)
- Begin by bringing the milk to a boil on medium-high heat on the stove, stiring occasionally and not letting the milk catch on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat. See Photo 1.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a mixing bowl before adding in the flour, cornflour/starch & sugar. Beat well until combined with minimal lumps. See Photo 2.
- Add 1 or 2 spoons of the hot milk to the egg mixture & whisk to combine. This is tempering – gradually adding introducing the hot mixture to the room temperature egg mixture. See Photo 3. This prevents scrambling the eggs. Add 1 more spoon of the milk to the egg mixture and mix again.
- Next add all the egg mixture into the pan of milk, and mix well.
- Return the pan to the hob, and on a low-medium heat, simmer the mixture gently. Whisk it regularly till it thickens. Note it will thicken more later.
- Remove from the heat, add in the Vanilla Extract extract & butter, and beat together well. Don't worry about lumps, just beat as well as you can. See Photo 4.
- Push the pastry cream through a sieve into another bowl, to remove any lumps and leave a smooth silky mixture. See Photo 5 & 6.
- Allow the cream to cool down completely. Cover the pastry cream with cling film/plastic wrap. This prevents a crust forming on the top of your pastry cream. To do this, lift the cling film/plastic wrap and position on the surface of the cream, as opposed to just covering the bowl. See Photo 7 below.
- Place in the fridge, and your creme pat will thicken more with time & be ready to use once cooled down. Use in pastries, cakes etc.
- Will be fine for up to 3 days stored in the fridge appropriately.
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DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy, beginner
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