A very quick blog entry to quickly go through how to make crème pâtissière or pastry cream. Very simple to do and makes a lovely filling for cakes and pastries.

It's basically thick custard, so when cool it isn't a liquid as such. It means that it'll stay in the cake or pastry you've put it in and doesn't run away.

This recipe for crème pâtissière only has five ingredients to deal with. You'll need a saucepan, mixing bowl, a whisk and some scales.

Crème Pâtissière Recipe

Ingredients for crème pâtissière or pastry cream:

12 fl oz (341ml) of milk (preferably full-fat but I've used semi-skimmed milk before now)

4 oz (113g) caster (fine) sugar

4 egg yolks

1 oz (28g) of plain flour

Dash of vanilla essence

How to make the crème pâtissière

I use imperial measurements all the time because it's easier to remember. Look at the weights, so easy to make more. The ratio is 4 yolks to 4 sugar to 1 flour to 12 (3 x yolks) milk. Easy.

Heat your milk in the saucepan over a medium heat, bring it up to a simmer stirring now and again. Don't let it burn.

Crack the eggs and put the yolks in the bowl (keep the egg whites if you'd like to make meringue or something later). Tip in the sugar and use the whisk (hand) to combine. Add the flour and vanilla essence, mix again.

When the milk has come up to temperature tip into the mixing bowl in stages, whisking together with the egg mix. Don't tip it in in one go or else you'll get lumps. Once combined tip the crème pâtissière into the saucepan and bring to a simmer stirring all the time. Once at simmer continue until it begins to thicken. When it has the consistency of thick gravy remove from heat and continue to stir (the bottom of the pan will still be hotter than the crème pâtissière). A minute of mixing stirring should be fine, put the lid on the saucepan and allow too cool before refrigerating.

Job done.