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How thick is pastry cream supposed to be?

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I guess I was expecting thick custard, but I ended up with something like pureed potatoes when it was freshly cooked and still hot.

I used 2 T flour, 3 T cornstarch, 2 egg yolks, and 1 egg for 2 cups milk, loosely following this recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30347-str...

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  1. I can't picture puréed potatoes. Do you mean your pc was very thick or runny?

    It thickens as it cools. A bit much actually. Then you have to mix or whip it again when you're ready to use it. I try to aim for coat the back of the spoon or just past it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: youareabunny

      Like pommes puree. Mashed potatoes but a lot of liquid, you can't make peaks with it.

      1. re: jaykayen

        That sounds about right.

        Pastries like cream puffs, eclairs, and napoleons often use pastry cream. In most applications it should be soft enough to pipe, but stiff enough that it does not ooze out or droop (at room temperature).

    2. You're going to hate this answer, but it depends.

      If I'm piping the cream into something then I like it softer (thinner - maybe like mayo) but if it is the base of say a fruit tart that I have to slice and has heavy fruit on top of it, then I like it thicker (maybe almost like the yellow of a deviled egg? - wow, thickness of pastry cream is harder to describe than I thought it would be).

      1 Reply
      1. re: thimes

        Ok, thanks! I got scared and thinned it to a mayo-like thickness, but I am making a tart. Oh well, i'm sure it will be fine.