Italian Pastry Cream-Crema Pasticcera is so creamy and smooth. This easy recipe is made from scratch and ready in less than 10 minutes. Use it in so many different recipes, or eat it right out of the bowl!
Pastry cream, crème pâtissière, crema pasticcera...in whichever language you say it, it sounds beautiful. Creamy and wonderful. Perfect enough to eat right out of the bowl, spoonful after spoonful. But wait! Don't eat it all, my silly friends. Save it for creating some incredible desserts.
In Italy they are used to fill crostate, pâte à choux (bignè, eclairs).So gorgeous filled in cakes and whatever tart you can dream of! A basic recipe you must have and need to make this summer and all year round.
When you are heating the milk, you could even make a fun flavored pastry cream. Dried lavender or even coffee beans (be sure to take out the beans after the milk comes to a boil). Or when the pastry cream is ready, you could melt about 2 ounces of chocolate chips in the hot cream and have a gorgeous chocolate pastry cream.
So now go ahead. You worked hard to make this dreamy pastry cream. You can sneak a few spoonfuls before anyone looks!
Some other desserts to enjoy:
- Devil's Food Bundt Cake with Caramel Glaze (filled with pastry cream)
- Caramelized Apple Bundt Cake (filled with pastry cream)
- Strawberry and Amaretti Cookie Trifle (made with pastry cream)
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups whole milk or unsweetened almond milk (for dairy-free)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces or margarine (for dairy-free)
- Combine the cornstarch with the sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Pour 1/2 cup of the milk into the cornstarch mixture and whisk together. Whisk the egg yolks into the cornstarch mixture until smooth.
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring the remaining 1 ½ cups milk to a simmer (be sure not to boil) Once it comes to a simmer, remove the pan from the heat.
- Drizzle the hot milk mixture a little at a time into the egg mixture. Keep on whisking while you drizzle in the milk.
- Pour the mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium-low heat. Whisk vigorously until it comes to a boil and the whisk leaves a trail in the pastry cream (about 5-6 minutes).
- As soon as the cream has the right consistency, take the pan off the heat. Stir in the vanilla and he butter.
- Place plastic wrap over the pastry cream surface and let it cool completely in the refrigerator.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
I LOVE pastry cream and could make it every day..then eat it right out of the pot upon setting. Your pastry cream looks perfect. I would love to pull it straight from the photo and start filling all kinds of pastry.,.OR, just eat it right out of the pot 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful 'Italian' 4th! xo
Marnely Rodriguez-Murray says
Pastry cream is one of the things I looooove to make and yours looks AMAZING!
I love pastry cream. I usually make it for fruit tarts though I haven't in ages. I also love working with cornflour curds. One of our favorites is an Indian Halwa. I hope you are having a lovely time in Italy, Lora. Shulie
Muna Kenny says
I love pastry cream, yours looks creamy and silky. I will for sure try your recipe 🙂
Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction says
Your pastry creme looks delicious. Can't wait to try it.
This makes me want to run into the kitchen and bake up a batch of eclairs!
Nancy @ gottagetbaked says
I love making pastry cream, Lora. It's not only delicious but it gives me a heck of a workout from the whisking 😉 You're making me want to make a batch and start filling pastry 'n cakes with it!
Thank you for another wonderful recipe! I'm allergic to dairy so I made your recipe with 2 substitutions. I changed the whole milk to a can of coconut milk and the butter to Earth Balance sticks. I used it to make a banana cream pie and it was AMAZING!!!
Hi Lora, thanks so much for this recipe. My son used to like the commercial vanilla pudding, but with this he will no longer have those chemicals. It's incredibly good, I made it 3 times already, but next time I will double the quantity because I want to eat too haha.
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