Uova, latte, zucchero e vaniglia. These are the few ingredients needed to make one of the most beloved creams in pastry: pastry cream. Let’s discover together with the Master Pastry Chef Iginio Massari how to make the perfect pastry cream. This cream is among the most used in pastry, along with Chantilly or zabaglione, to fill many desserts. In cream puffs, in puff pastry desserts (such as cannoli, vol-au-vent, mille-feuille), but also in the soft layers of the classic Pan di Spagna, pastry cream is always welcome, even flavored: pistachio, lemon, hazelnut, orange! This basic pastry preparation also serves to make semifreddos, puddings, and many spoon desserts, such as our delicious brick cake. Furthermore, it is a fundamental component of other pastry creams, such as diplomatic and mousseline. It is a very versatile preparation: just slightly modify the doses of some ingredients to obtain different consistencies suitable for the use you will make of it! For example, to thicken it more, it is sufficient to use more cornstarch, on the contrary, you will have to decrease the dose if you want to taste it with a spoon. Follow the step-by-step process with the Master Pastry Chef Iginio Massari and discover all the tips to prepare it!
Ingredients (for about 750 g of pastry cream)
Whole milk 500g
Egg yolks (about 7) 125g
Rice starch 40g
Vanilla pod 2
Lemon peel ½
Pastry cream Calories
Difficulty: Easy Preparing time: 15 min Cooking time: 8 min Cost: Low
How to prepare pastry cream
To prepare pastry cream, first put a glass bowl in the freezer. Then extract the seeds from the vanilla 1 and cut the pods into pieces 2. Pour the milk into a saucepan and add both the seeds 3 and the vanilla pods. Cut a strip of the lemon peel, taking only the yellow part, and add it to the saucepan 4. Turn on the heat and heat everything, bringing it to a boil and stirring occasionally. In another saucepan, pour the egg yolks, sugar, and rice starch 5. Using a soft whisk, mix to obtain a creamy and smooth consistency 6.
As soon as the milk is about to boil, transfer it to the egg yolks in 3 times, filtering it with a sieve 7 and stirring continuously with the whisk 8. Transfer back to the heat and stir continuously until it thickens 9. To cool it down quickly, take the bowl from the freezer and pour the cream inside 10. Stir very quickly with a whisk until you have brought the cream to 50°, below the cooking point. You should obtain a smooth and very shiny cream 11. At this point, the pastry cream is ready 12, and you can use it or store it in the refrigerator, covering it with plastic wrap.
Pastry cream can be stored in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap for 5 days. Alternatively, it can be frozen for 1 month.
Use rice starch to obtain a softer cream; otherwise, if you prefer a thicker cream, use the same amount of cornstarch. Never let the egg yolks come into contact with the sugar without stirring, otherwise, they will cook and the cream will become lumpy. By heating the milk beforehand, the yolk will undergo less high temperature, giving the aromatic flavor a particular freshness. With these doses, you will be able to fill a 22 cm diameter cake, making two layers of cream.