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How do you make really thick cream filling?

I'm trying to make a really thick cream filling to spread on top of lemon bars but I can't seem to figure it out. Is there an ingrediant I should be using to make it thick and dense? If I go into french pastry shops and they have layered fruit bars usually the cream layers are very dense and wonderful.

Right now, I use heavy whipping cream, 1/2 tbsp of vanilla and 3 tbls of powdered sugar... this is what my grandma did and I decided to just beat the heck out of it but what happens is even though it gets stiff, the next day in the frig, it starts to separate and water down.

I'm hoping someone here knows the trick... Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

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  1. What you want is a recipe for pastry cream. It is a cooked custard and often used in those French pasteries and cream puffs, eclairs etc. You can Google up a bunch of recipes and most extensive cookbooks will have a recipe too.

    1. Thanks Candy, however the pastry cream I am finding when I google is yellow because it involves egg yokes and it looks more like pudding. This is not what I am looking for.

      It's hard to describe I guess. It's white, just like whipped cream, it's dense but not quite as butter cream or frosting. And it doesn't separate. When I buy pastries with this cream on it it doesn't appear that it would ever be boiled or heated like the pastry creams I googled need.

      I'm just thinking there is a thickening agent to add that will NOT make the tenxture gritty. I tried using flour once and it made the whip cream gritty on the tongue. If you know what i am talking about and know of a link, please post it..

      Also, if you are aware if The Cheesecake Factory, their whip cream is dense and thick. How is that done?

      Thank you!

      1 Reply
      1. re: sweetface9999

        I agree with Candy. I did google "creme patisserie" (or "pastry cream") and the photos do make it look more yellow than it turns out when I make it. This really is what French pastry shops use in fruit tarts. It is related to Creme Anglaise which is the thinner version and creme brulee which is baked and finished with a caramelized topping. You can lighten Creme Patisserie with whipped cream for eclairs or profiteroles.
        Great thing to have in your repetoire because you can do so many things with it.
        Give this a try and see if it works.
        I hate to admit it, but in a pinch and when I've been in a super hurry, I've even used commercial vanilla pudding with a touch of flavoring or a little whipped cream.
        Cheesecake Factory probably uses chemical stabilizers. Could be half CoolWhip for all we know...

      2. There is a thickening agent for whipped cream, called Oketer's Whip-It, which is available in most grocery stores.

        You can also stablize with gelatin or corn starch.

        Here's a link to a couple of prior thread with more info:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/280107

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/275478

        Good luck!

        2 Replies
        1. re: DanaB

          Whip-It does not thicken whipped cream. It stablizes it so it will hold longer. I'm going to be whipping my chream for this evening in a bit and will use Whip-It because it will have to hold for a few hours.

          1. re: Candy

            I used Whip-it for the first time yesterday. I whipped a lot of cream, planning to use half combined w/ pastry cream as a filling for eclairs, and the other half as a topping for angel food cake.

            Maybe I got distracted, but the cream whipped up to a super-whipped state in no time. Worked fine for the pastry cream (although it took a long time to fold in), but it was way past the nice creamy stage and could not be used for topping.

            So I'm thinking Whip-it possibly shortens the whip time. Beware.

        2. you could try cream cheese. i see it in some recipes for this purpose.

          1. I read a post here to add mascarpone cheese, or vanilla pudding mix.. The cheese, if not too strong of a cheese sounds like it will add density. If anyone has idea's, let me know. I'm thinking the really stiff, dense cream has chemicals to make it that way possibly...