This Custard Cream aka Thick Pastry Cream is like that basic white tee you have in your wardrobe. The one that can be used in a million ways. Like wearing it with joggers and sneakers to jump to the grocers, or with your favorite jeans and heels to head out for a drink.
Similarly, this delish & thick egg custard cream can be served either plainly or more “formaly” depending on the occasion!
You can simply serve it on its own with your favorite topping (cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, syrup), or use it to make something fancier like filling a cake, a layered dessert, or a tart. The possibilities are truly endless.
Use It For:
- Filling tarts. My personal favorite: use in a fresh fruit tart.
- Also as a filling for cakes like in this almond torte
- As a filling for eclairs and cream puffs.
- To make layered cream desserts like Ekmek
Or Serve On Its Own Topped With:
- Cocoa & Biscuits
- Instant Coffee
- Whipped Cream & Jam
- Fresh Fruits
- Any Type Of Syrup
How To Make Custard Cream
First, you heat the milk along with the sugar to a point that it starts to get steamy but without boiling.
NOTE: Heating the sugar along with the milk prevents milk from burning (which tends to do so easily).
In a mixing bowl, you beat the eggs along with the cornstarch.
Then slowly incorporate the milk into the egg mixture. To do this use a ladle and add a spoonful at a time while whisking the eggs constantly so they won’t curdle.
Once you’ve incorporated at least half of the milk into the eggs transfer back to the pot with the remaining milk. And over medium heat whisk constantly until the cream thickens.
When the cream is ready and still hot in the pot, you may stir in 100 grams / 3.5 oz of butter to give it a stronger flavor and shinier texture.
Many recipes for making pastry cream have butter as a basic ingredient. But to me, it creates a heavier cream so I skip it most of the time.
Especially when making this cream as a part of a Greek dessert (most are pretty heavy on their own).
Other Pastry Cream Flavorings & Additives
Add lemon or orange zest for more aromatic pastry cream (especially if you’re going to include it in a fruit tart ;)). Stir in a few blocks of chocolate or some cocoa powder and turn it into a chocolate custard cream.
Add whipped cream or meringue, to give an airier mousse-like texture (not very stable as a cake filling though ).
NOTE: all flavorings are incorporated into the cream while it’s still hot in the pot. Except for whipped cream and meringue (the cream needs to be cool).
You may even add your favorite liquor (2-3 tablespoons). Or in fact, whatever else comes to your mind.
Can’t wait to hear how creative you got with this delicious custard cream!
Greek Custard Cream - (Thick Pastry Cream)
- 1 liter fresh milk
- 250 grams /9 oz sugar
- 4 medium-sized eggs
- 60 grams /2 oz cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a cooking pot combine milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. Warm up the mixture over medium heat.
- In a small bowl whisk together the eggs with the cornstarch.
- Once the milk gets steamy hot (right before it starts boiling) remove from heat, and using a ladle start pouring it SLOWLY into the egg mixture while whisking the eggs constantly.
- Once you have transferred half of the milk into the eggs, pour the mixture back in the pot.
- Whisk constantly over medium heat until the cream starts to thicken.
- OPTIONAL: At this point, you may add the butter or any other flavoring you like.
- Remove from heat and serve in small bowls. Or let it reach room temperature before refrigerating and using it as a dessert filling.
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