Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Caramel Pastry Cream


It’s a basic every cook should know.

Caramel Pastry Cream
Printable Recipe

6 ounces sugar
¼ cup water
2 cups milk
1 ¼ ounce cornstarch
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
½ ounce unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine 5 ounces of the sugar and the water in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, brush down the sides of the pan with water, and boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until caramelized. The sugar will be fragrant and a deep amber color when it is caramelized. Remove the pan from the heat and dip the bottom into an ice water bath for a second or two. Slowly stir in the milk. Return the pan to low heat and stir until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and heat to a simmer.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and remaining 1 ounce of sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in the egg and yolks. Continue whisking while adding the hot caramel mixture in a thin stream. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it thickens and just comes to a boil. Immediately strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl and stir in the butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate.

Makes about 2 ½ cups. A delicious alternative to the usual vanilla pastry cream—try it in cream puffs, ├ęclairs, Napoleons, tarts, or between cake layers. For a light-as-air filling, fold in some whipped cream. Keeps for several days in the refrigerator. The plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the pastry cream will prevent a skin from forming.

11 comments:

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness gracious. I'd like to dive head first into that bowl of caramel-y goodness. I NEED to put this on my To Bake list. I'm seeing cupcakes with a surprise inside... or a decadent layer cake... or... ah, the possibilities.

Thank you! p.s. found this on Foodgawker and have bookmarked your site. :)

Jennifer said...

I am saving this! How wonderful to put between a cake or cookie sandwich! YUM!

Thank you :)

Ingrid said...

Oh, yum, I'm with Kelly. Initially I thought I'd love to stick my spoon in and take a taste but forget that diving in sounds about right! LOL!

Thanks for the recipe!
~ingrid

Suzy said...

What a bowl of yumminess! I'm certainly going to file this one away. I can think of several excellent uses for your beautiful creation.

Kevin said...

Caramel pastry cream sounds so good!

Jeremy said...

Delicious looking and delicious tasting and quite simple to make! I've never made this before. This was pure delight and I'm sure to make them again.

Gaia said...

That looks fabulous! I'm making caramel eclairs with this recipe!

TheQuirkyCupcakeBakery said...

Absolutely fabulous......im so thrilled about this recipe! Very scrumptious x x

TheQuirkyCupcakeBakery said...

What a fabulous recipe!! Im giving this a whirl as i type! Thank you x x

Camille said...

Tried this recipe and couldn't get my creme near that dark, did you add dye (the french chefs I worked with sometimes did)? Or maybe browned the butter? Or maybe your caramel was just really dark? Or possibly something got lost when I converted ounces to grams....(highest posibility) anyways, it was delicious!

Lucy Vaserfirer said...

Camille,
I didn't use any coloring, I just cooked my caramel until it was quite dark.

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