Creme Patissiere

Creme Patissiere is an absolute Basic.  So much more flows from this  beauty.  All the wonderful Cremes (Mousselline, Diplomate amongst many others), German Buttercream, and of course with a little less cornflour, that absolute British favourite – custard.

There are 2 recipes out there – one using flour as the thickener, and one using cornflour.  I have tried both and the cornflour one is in my opinion better.  No matter how hard I try with the flour version it always feels grainy on the tongue.

Also try to use real vanilla – not extract.  It just tastes better.  If you don’t have one then try Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract. Do not use Vanilla Essence as this is an artificial version of Vanilla.


  • 500ml whole milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 4 medium egg yolks
  • 40g cornflour
  • 40g butter

The Creme Patissiere

  • separate the eggs
  • weigh out the sugar and cornflour and set to one side
  • put the milk into a saucepan
  • split the vanilla pod in half, scrape the seeds of the vanilla pod into the milk and then put the  remaining pod in the milk
  • bring the milk just to the boil and then take off the heat
  • whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the colour lightens to a pale yellow
  • add a little of the milk
  • whisk in the cornflour until smooth
  • add half the milk and whisk until smooth and then pour the mixture back into the pan of milk
  • take the pods out
  • heat the mixture stirring all the time to prevent lumps forming
  • once thick and gloopy take off the heat and stir in the butter until it is melted
  • press the mixture through a sieve
  • cover with clingfilm with the clingfilm touching the surface to stop a skin forming
  • put in fridge to cool

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