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Sep 9, 2007 05:06 AM

why does pastry cream get gluey when you make it?

I have been making pastry cream successfully for years now, and all of a sudden it is going gluey on me. I have a feeling it is either the pan (I used a wider pan, which would cause more stirring) or maybe it's because I added the sugar to the egg yolk (grad.) and then added the flour to that before tempering.

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  1. Your method is right. You need to check the flour you are using. Generally, cornflour is used instead of normal flour, and it is somewhat gluey.

    1. Sometimes it can break down because of excessive stirring or excessive heat, which can cause the starch cells to rupture.

      The classical method for making pastry cream is to whisk together the eggs and sugar, then add the flour/cornstarch (I use equal portions of each) and combine thoroughly until mixture has lightened in color. Temper in the warm milk and cook to a gentle boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until thickened. It should take about 1 minute to come to a boil. Then continue to simmer until smooth and thick, another 1 – 2 minutes. Take off the heat, add vanilla and butter, stirring gently to combine. Once the pastry cream has been chilled, don’t whisk or it will break down the starch. Hope this helps.


      1. thank you so much for your answers. I was using unbleached white flour (as I typically do) but I do think that I must have had the flame higher than usual and that not making much product in a pan that was more like a risotto pan (because the saucepan was dirty and I'm a lazy bum) caused the whole thing to heat up way too much. I was getting in a panic; I have to teach how to make pastry cream if you can believe it, and even though I have been making it on the job for years, I have always done it exactly the same; I think I must have taught myself when I was about seven, never thought about the chemistry, never had a problem, and then boom, hotglue in a frying pan.