The best and authentic Italian Pastry Cream Recipe (Crema Pasticcera) is here for you. Rich, creamy, indulgent Italian Pastry Cream to make in less than 10 minutes. You will not look for other pastry cream recipes anymore! This is the only one you need!!
This recipe has been my best ally for so long now. I remember the first time I tried this recipe – blimey! - I was enchanted, I couldn’t stop to ask for more, and I have to say that even my guests were impressed by it. This recipe is the creation of the Italian pastry chef Leonardo Di Carlo.
Why you'll love
- Rich and delicate taste
- Easy to make
- Make a great pudding by itself
- A great make-ahead recipe
- Gluteen-free recipe different from the ordinary crema pasticcera
Ingredients you'll need to make this delicious Italian pastry cream recipe
This recipe has very few ingredients so it is vital you get the freshest ingredients, as it will make a huge difference between a cream and a Crema Pasticcera, believe me! Let's see what we need:
- Milk- use fresh whole milk, give a rich taste.
- Whipping cream- use fresh whipping cream with 35% of fat, give a creamy texture to it.
- Egg yolk- use room temperature egg yolks. Best choice whould be organic or free range.
- Sugar- use cater sugar as needs to dissolve with the egg yolks.
- Thickening agent- rice flour and corn stratch, it will give silky and shiny look.
- Aroma- use unwaxed lemon and the seed from the vanilla pod.
- Salt- enchange the flavor.
Step by step introductions
To make a perfect Pastry Cream* is important to follow a few essential simple steps, which are divided into three groups.
*This recipe calls for 500 gr of pastry cream.
- Step one- Whisk the yolks, the sugar, and the salt in a medium bowl until you have a creamy texture. Add a little by little the corn starch, the rice flour previously stiffed, till become a batter texture.
TIP: always stiff the corn starch and the rice flour to prevent the formation of lumps in the batter.
- Step one- add the whole milk, the whipping cream and the aromas into a medium saucepan on a medium heats.
TIP: the liquid will be ready once they reach the temperature of 85° C or just before the simmering.
- Step one- Once the liquids are warm enough, remove the lemon zest. Pour gently half liquid into the bowl with the egg yolks and whisk for a few seconds.
NOTE: This operation is used to avoid the yolks having a thermal shock.
- Step two- Pour the egg yolks back to the saucepan with the rest of the liquids. Turn down to low heat and whisk constantly until the cream is quite thick, and the temperature reaches 82°C, it will take just a few minutes.
- Step three- Once ready, pour the cream straight away in glass containers (we need to cool it down quickly!!!) and cover with cling film making sure the film touches the cream. Store in the fridge once it has cooled down.
TIP: When you will need to use the cream just take it from the fridge and whisk for a few seconds!
Tips for Pastry Cream variation and uses
There are a few ways to change the flavor of the Pastry Cream, here are some of my favorite:
- Orange zest- half unwaxed orange to add in the warming up step
- Lemon zest- half unwaxed lemon to add in the warming up step.
- Chocolate- darck cholocate bar as 75% cocoa , to add chopped once the cream is ready and still hot. Again use it in combiantion with the orange zest. So indulget!!
- Vanilla- seeds of whole pod to add in the warming up step.
TIP: Don't bin the vanilla pod you have used. Use it next time in the warming up step, the heat will release the seeds that are still left in the vanilla pod. Once the milk will be warm enough remove the pod from the liquids.
This Italian pastry cream recipe is so versatile, can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas for you, to get inspired:
- Use it to fill Doughnuts or Croissants or as we say in Italy Cornetto and dust some icing sugar on top. It will turn you breackfast from boring to exiting one.
- Use it to fill Bignè, or Éclair. Cover the top with some melted chocolate.
- Use it to fill layers Cakes and Tarts.
- Use it as Solo dessert with some chopped fresh friuts or with some fruits composte.
More dessert you'll love
Are you in the Italian mood still? Why not try Italian chocolate and ricotta crostata, a cocoa shortcrust pastry filled with rich ricotta cream and chocolate chips. An easy dessert with an exceptional taste.
Italian Pastry Cream Recipe
- Medium saucepan
- Medium Bowl
- Balloon whisk
- Cooking thermometer
- 250 ml whole milk
- 62.5 gr whipping cream with 35% of fat
- 1 unwaxed lemon zest
- 1 vanilla pod seed
- 75 gr egg yolks fresh and room temperature
- 62.5 gr caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 15 gr corn starch
- 10 gr rice flour
- On a medium heat fill medium saucepan with milk, whipping cream, the lemon zest, and the vanilla seed.
- Whisk the yolks, the sugar, and the salt in a medium bowl until you have a creamy texture, now add a little by little the corn starch, the rice flour previously stiffed, till becomes a batter texture.
- Keep a look at the liquids, they need to reach the temperature of 85° C to be used or just before the simmering.
- When the liquids are at the right temperature, remove the lemon zest. Pour gently half the liquid into the bowl with the egg yolks and whisk for a few seconds. This operation is used to avoid the yolks having a thermal shock.
- Now pour the egg yolks back to the saucepan with the rest of the liquids, turn down to low heat and whisk constantly until the cream is quite thick, and the temperature reaches 82°C, it will take just a few minutes.
- Once ready, pour the cream straight away in glass containers (we need to cool it down quickly!!!) and cover with cling film making sure the film touches the cream to avoid the creation of a layer on top of it.
- Store in the fridge once it has cooled down.