sweet essentials: vanilla custard crême pâtissièr

By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

This is a classic French custard, or crême pâtissière and is used in many sweet desserts, such as cream puffs, éclairs, and the ever-popular fruit tart. As French recipes go, this one is relatively easy to pull together, and the ingredients that you use are probably knocking about in your fridge and pantry. In addition, if you are planning this custard for a party, it can be made up to two days before the event. Note: I really thought that I had posted this recipe, but I cannot find it on this site. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves Several
prep time 10 Min
cook time 20 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For sweet essentials: vanilla custard crême pâtissièr

  • PLAN/PURCHASE
  • 2 c
    whole milk
  • 1/2 c
    sugar
  • 3 Tbsp
    cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 lg
    egg
  • 2 lg
    egg yolks
  • 3 Tbsp
    unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp
    vanilla extract

How To Make sweet essentials: vanilla custard crême pâtissièr

  • 1
    PREP/PREPARE
  • 2
    You will need a medium saucepan, a non-reactive bowl, and a good whisk.
  • 3
    Although this is a simple recipe to assemble, it requires constant attention. If you stop whisking while it is cooking, the eggs will begin to scramble, and you will have bits of scrambled eggs in the custard. If this occurs, no worries; however, you will need to pass the custard through a fine-mesh strainer before cooling. Of course, you could always leave the egg bits in the custard and call it, French Scrambled Egg Custard :-)
  • 4
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 5
    Add the milk to a saucepan over medium-low heat and bring up to a lazy simmer.
  • 6
    While the milk heats up, whisk the sugar, whole egg, egg yolk, and the cornstarch/arrowroot to a non-reactive mixing bowl.
  • 7
    While constantly whisking, add about a quarter of the milk to the egg mixture, and then whisk, whisk, whisk until smooth.
  • 8
    The process of taking some of the hot milk and adding it to the egg mixture is called, tempering. If we were to dump all the milk in at the same time, we would stand the chance of scrambling the eggs, and we HATE it when that happens.
  • 9
    Slowly add the remaining milk, while constantly whisking, and then return the mixture to a lazy simmer.
  • 10
    Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  • 11
    Add the butter and vanilla, then whisk until the butter has melted, is fully incorporated, and the custard is nice and thick.
  • 12
    Place into a bowl and cover the top of the custard with a piece of clingwrap. This will prevent air from getting to the custard and causing a film on the surface.
  • 13
    Allow to cool to room temperature, and then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or up to 2 days.
  • 14
    PLATE/PRESENT
  • So yummy
    15
    Use in tarts, fruit dishes, anywhere a yummy, sweet custard is called for.
  • 16
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.
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