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A Question about French Pastry Cream


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A Question about French Pastry Cream

Hank Hanover | Aug 11, 2011 04:59 AM

American pastry cream is pretty much the same as vanilla pudding. You generally use 3 egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 Tbls cornstarch, 1/2 Tbl butter and 1 tsp vanilla extract per cup of milk.
I recently found a recipe for French Pastry Cream or Creme Patissiere in the book "The Art of the Cake" by By Bruce Healy & Paul Bugat.

The following is the paraphrased recipe.

Makes 1 pound 8 ounces or 2 2/3 cups


1 ½ Cups Milk
1 ¼ ounces (1/4 Cup) Flour
1 ¼ ounces (3 Tablespoons) Potato Starch
2 Large Egg Yolks
2 Large Eggs
5 ¼ ounces (3/4 Cup) Sugar
2 ½ ounces (1/4 Cup + 1 Tablespoon) Unsalted Butter, softened
½ Vanilla Bean

8 Teaspoons (2 Tablespoons + 2 Teaspoons) Flour/Cup of Milk
6 Teaspoons (2 Tablespoons) Potato Starch/Cup of Milk
1 1/3 Ounces (2) Egg Yolks/Cup of Milk
1 ½ Ounces (1 1/3) Egg Whites/Cup of Milk
3.5 Ounces (1/2 Cup Sugar/Cup of Milk
1 2/3 Ounces (3 Tablespoons + 1 Teaspoon) Butter/Cup of Milk


Pour the milk into a heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds into the milk. Add the pod to the milk as well. Bring to a simmer.

Sift the flour and the potato starch together onto a sheet of wax paper. Combine the eggs, yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and pale yellow. Whisk in the flour and starch. Pour in about half of the hot milk, whisking constantly. Pour this mixture back into the pan and stir until blended and smooth (Tempering).

Bring the pastry cream to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and stir constantly for about 3 minutes until very thick and smooth and the flour taste has been cooked out.

Strain the pastry cream through a fine sieve and stir in ¼ cup of the butter. Rub the remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter over the surface of the cream to prevent skin formation. Let cool to room temperature.

Storage: Covered airtight for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Before using, let the pastry cream soften at room temperature. Then beat in the butter coating.

Your Welcome. You have a new recipe.

I have never seen anything like this. I have never seen potato starch used in pastry cream before. It is being used with flour too! Most American pastry creams use about 2 tbls of some starch per cup of milk. The most common being flour or cornstarch. This recipe is using more than twice the thickener. This stuff is going to be thick!

Have any of you experienced bakers ever seen this? Even other recipes for French Pastry cream that I have seen doesn't use this much and only uses one starch. Have you got any explanation for recipe.
These guys are two of the most premier French pastry chefs in the world. I would appreciate any comments you might have.

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