Chocolate Mondays # 1 Pastry Cream

Fillings: #1 Pastry Cream

You may ask, with all the modern conveniences of yogurt, Ice cream and the like, why would I want to turn on the stove and make a pastry cream? I'd have to make some with you and have you taste it yourself, so you could see for yourself. It's just worth the effort, As most things from scratch are! Since I can't do that with you in person. The next best thing is to show you how easy it is from here...that's my intention anyway!
This a a rich and yummy filling that lends itself to unlimited uses. Served on its own with fresh fruit, nuts and a mild tea, heavenly. Pastry cream is used in pastries like eclairs, profiteroles  and glazed fruit tarts. It's texture and taste is similar to pudding or custard, which makes it even more versatile in a wide range of dessert, the simplest being a banana pudding. I used it as a parfait cup treat for my daughter to take on her field trip. The eggs are cooked gently so there's no worry of uncooked eggs.
I've made vanilla, strawberry, banana, chocolate and my PiƱa Colada perfection for summer!  For the sake of this series I made vanilla and chocolate. You can easily flavor pastry cream with any fruit you like by either blending or adding cooked down  fruit so it blends well. There are even extracts that would compliment any fruit you choose. Extracts should be mixed into the pastry cream towards the end of the cooking process, right when you first take the pot off the heat.
Vanilla and Caramel

Tools
  • Medium to large sauce pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • A medium bowl
  • Sieve
  • Plastic wrap
  • Spatulas
  • Ladle

Vanilla Pastry Cream Recipe
2 c. milk,
⅓ c. flour or a flour cornstarch mix (equaling 1/3 c.)
½ c. sugar ,
4 egg yolks.
½ of a vanilla bean or 1 tsp. Vanilla extract (optional)

Detailed Instructions
  • Bring the milk to a boil on a medium high flame. If you are using a Vanilla bean place it in the milk.
  • While the milk is cooking (keep your eyes on it), blend the Sugar with the eggs until combined in a medium sized bowl.
  • Then mix the flour into the egg and sugar mixture well. by now the milk is nice and hot. Turn the flame off...
  • Tempering: Stream in half the milk into the egg mixture. Whisking as you Ladle the milk in.
  • Then pour the mixture back into the hot milk in the pot and stir it until it thickens and boils. Stir and boil the pastry cream about two min.
  • It's done at this point ... Stir in the extract. Pour it through a sieve in a clean bowl. Once you have pressed the pastry cream thru...thoroughly, Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap. Being sure the wrap touches the  cream all around so a skin doesn't form.
  • If you want add preserves. Food coloring or Macha tea,  I'd add it now if you want Green for St. Patty's day. Rainbow colors by separating portioned in mini bowls to color.
  • Some Chefs use cornstarch ...below is a favorite demonstration of how to make a double batch of pastry cream. I love the video by the Seasoned chef,  he made a  smoother pastry Cream,  great for a parfait, and it's a larger recipe. You can see his boiling over in the background as he's teaching and it still turned out great! Just remember he’s a professional and you should tempter, like I talked about above, so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs!





I used the 4B Star tip for the vanilla and 1B for the chocolate
You can use a spoon or plastic sandwich baggies with a slit.
Try Ann Reardon's demo on how to  make certain decorations 


Chocolate and Vanilla Parfait
and a tutorial on how to flavor it with chocolate.
Use any cookie you like in the middle and topping for the parfait. A parfait is as easy as 1,2,3 actually, but if you want to get fancy, use any pastry tip you like. I used Wiltons 4B and 1B star tips and disposable pastry bags. As for the contrasting textures you can use the granola, cookies and brownies. We almost have everything ready to assemble our Parfait. So don't eat all of the pastry cream just yet...but Enjoy it with reserve. Till next time!







Pastry Cream Highlights










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