Saturday, 22 October 2011

Crème Pâtissière (Pastry Cream)

Original Recipe:

Original Ingredients: (Make about 2 cups or 500ml)
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 50 grams (1 3/4 oz.) pastry cream powder (can substitute cornstarch)
  • 128 grams (4 1/2 oz) sugar
  • 473 milliliters (2 cups) whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Unsalted butter for coating surface, optional

Original Method:

  1. Combine the egg yolks, whole egg, and pastry cream powder (cornstarch) with half of the sugar in a mixing bowl, whisking until the mixture is well blended and lightly coloured.
  2. Place the mile in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Using a small, sharp knife scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk.  Add the bean, along with the remaining sugar, and place over high heat.  Bring to a boil, then remove the pan from heat.
  3. Whisking constantly, pour about 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture to temper it.  Whisk the tempered mixture into the hot milk in the saucepan. Place the mixture over high heat and, whisking constantly, return it to a boil.  Boil, stirring constantly with a whisk and taking care to scrape the bottom and lower inner edges of the pan for 2 minutes, or until thick and smooth.
  4. Remove the cream from the heat and pour it into a large, shallow pan, spreading it out with a spatula to hasten cooling.  Remove and discard vanilla bean. Cover the surface of the pastry cream with a piece of plastic film place directly over the top.  This prevents the formation of skin (tamponner).  Set aside to cool and then refrigerate until ready to use.

My Ingredients:
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 50 grams cornstarch
  • a few drops of yellow food colouring
  • 128 grams castor sugar
  • 473 ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

My Method: 
  • I followed the recipe word for word except replacing pastry cream powder with cornstarch and yellow food colouring.

One-line Verdict:
Finger-licking-delicious! Tastes very similar to the custard bun (奶皇包) back in home.

    • The recipe is very well written. Portion is quite accurate too, I got about 485 grams of Crème Pâtissière.
    • Stirring, stirring, stirring... the key is stirring!!
    • For some reason my pastry cream mixture solidified and became thick pretty quickly. Didn't have enough time to boil for a good 2 minutes
    • I used 1 whole vanilla pod to compensate the "possible loss in vanilla flavour" as I used cornstarch instead of pastry cream powder (which has some extra vanilla extract).
    • Approximate cost of the main ingredients: £5 (for one 8-inch tart, can be halved if using vanilla extract instead of vanilla pod)

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