Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Creme Patissiere

I love french patisserie and I never cease to be amazed at the level of sophistication that the French bring to the world of desserts. A few weeks ago I had strawberries in the fridge and the desire grew strong within me for a Tarte aux Fraises (most probably inspired by my recent visit to the excellent Chez Max).

The tarte didn't turn out too great as I put too much liquid into my pate sucree (sweet pastry), but the creme patissiere turned out amazing. I used Gordon Ramsay's recipe from his book Just Desserts. People tend to forget that Gordon Ramsay is a very classically trained French chef and this book of dessert recipes is quite inspiring (and technical too).

Here's the recipe (makes about 650 ml). It makes a great filling for eclairs and pastries and is the base for classic hot sweet souffles.

350ml whole milk
150ml double cream
75g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split, seeds extracted
1 large free-range egg
3 large free-range egg yolks
40g cornflour

Put the milk and cream in a heavy-based saucepan along with 1 tblsp of the sugar, the vanilla seeds (you can also use natural vanilla extract) and the empty pod. Slowly bring to the boil.

In the meantime, beat the egg, egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy. Sift a third of the cornflour into the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Repeat two more times with the rest of the cornflour.

When the milk is on the point of boiling, slowly pour a third onto the egg mixture while beating continuously. Gradually pour in the rest of the milk, whisking all the time. Take out the vanilla pod.

Return the milk and egg mixture to the heat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking all the time, until thick and smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover and cool until needed.

1 comment

Anonymous said...

Hi just wondered if you could advise me - I am baking a cake for a village show at the weekend. I would like to use Creme pat for filling a sandwich cake which will be iced with white chocolate frosting (basically buttercream with melted white chocolate). Do you think the Creme pat will be robust enough to support this weight of cake and icing or will it ooze out of the sides. Thanks

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