Sunday, January 10, 2010

Perfect pastry cream recipe

One of the most admirable things that Alicia does is that all of their information and research (and therefore recipes) are available for all to see on their website. Since the recent posting on Perfect Pastry Cream has been hands down the most viewed and commented on posting since the inception of this blog, I thought I would share with you the actual recipe (see the original post here: ; the recipe is slightly tweaked... I am neurotic about being extremely explicit in recipes, and I feel that this one covers all of the information you may need). Please use this recipe and share it. Make sure that you always remember where it came from.
Please follow this link to the recipe:

This recipe is the smallest quantity you can make for the method to work.
Once you pour the boiling milk with the sugar into the bowl with the smaller amount of milk, yolks and cornstarch, it won't thicken on contact! It will take a few seconds of stirring before you see the magic unravel before your eyes.
I included a column with percentages for each amount so that you can make the recipe in the quantities that suit you.

You're welcome.


  1. thanks for this mate, love finding these alternate methods to the classics that are equal if not better than them

    just discovered Ice/Gelatin clarification and am trying this as we speak.... more info in my blog post.

    I always enjoy coming here!


  2. From a new Follower..just subscribed... many thanks for that one... always ready to teach an alternative to the classics, that are ready made for the modern day kitchen environment... the table is also tops... wish more would do that

  3. I came to your site through ideas in food. I can't wait to try this recipe!! I'll have to wait until I need that much pastry cream though.

  4. Hi Francesco. Very interesting idea on the Pastry Cream from Alicia. This is what I understand - yes both egg yolk coagulation and flour starch gelatinization occur in the 80s degree centigrade. Higher temperatures are not necessary. However apparently egg yolks contain a starch digesting enzyme that requires boiling to be inactivated. This is the science behind the reason why pourable custards (i.e creme anglaise) are brought to 82-85 centigrade and why starch-enriched custards (i.e pastry cream) are brought to the boil. This is a rule of cooking that has been passed down through all gastronomic traditions. Harold Magee explains that unless these egg yolk enzymes are deactivated by boiling they will cause a stored pastry cream to liquify during storage. I have never tested the theory but have always accepted the advice and boiled starch thickened pastry cream.
    My method for a more tender cream is to increase the yolks (up to 16 per litre of milk) and to reduce the amount of flour (down to 40g per litre of starch - less for a pure starch). this gives a very tender cream however it has limitations in it's use due to the fact that it is not that firm in texture. Can anyone talk of stored non-boiled pastry creams and how they change over time - do they liquify progressively? Rossa