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Pastry cream tricks?


sygyzy
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I make over a gallon of pastry cream at a time and it would take me forever with a bain marie.

Luckily, I have a really nice heavy bottomed pot, which is a must. If I didn't have it, I probably would have to use a bain marie.....thank god I don't.

Oh, sure, when I have had to use thin bottomed pots and the bottom of the pastry cream scorched, that's when I'd strain it. I'd still have a little traces of brown specks in it, but I conveniently called those "vanilla beans"....heh heh heh :laugh:

:laugh::laugh::laugh: I love that! :biggrin:

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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II'd still have a little traces of brown specks in it, but I conveniently called those "vanilla beans"....heh heh heh :laugh:

GENIUS! :laugh:

Edited by jumanggy (log)

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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What is the technical difference between pastry cream and vanilla pudding? Sorry for the silly question....the vanilla puddings I've made use the same ingredients if I remember correctly. Eggs, milk, cornstarch, sugar, etc.

Aria in Oregon

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What is the technical difference between pastry cream and vanilla pudding?  Sorry for the silly question....the vanilla puddings I've made use the same ingredients if I remember correctly.  Eggs, milk, cornstarch, sugar, etc.

I'm sure there are others who know better than me the "true" difference, but when I make vanilla pudding it is much thinner than when I make pastry cream. I wouldn't use a pudding to fill a cake, for example -- at least using the recipe I have, the pudding would end up squishing out of the cake, whereas the pastry cream is firmer. Of course, that's just about the proportion of starch: puddings, custards, pastry creams, all seem to fall on the same continuum, the main difference in my mind not the ingredients per se, but their relative ratios and thus the texture of the finished product.

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
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Not such a silly question in my opinion. One of my very first posts was describing a Pierre Herme chocolate pastry cream - that I made exactly as described in the recipe. My guests all thought it was Jello brand chocolate pudding - cooked, not instant. So, while a pro here may tell you the difference, in flavor and texture they don't seem discernable to the masses. (Okay pros - pounce on me!)

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Hmm, I live in a country where Jell-O is not as ubiquitous, but I've always thought the word "pudding" was used very loosely to refer to any self-sufficient custardy dessert in the States (that's at least one of the definitions). It's not as though Jell-O would be very successful marketing instant pastry cream :laugh:

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Far from being a pastry chef, but had to confess this. When I make Cream puffs- I think that is what they are called, I fill then with: I take the instant vanilla pudding mix and instead of adding only milk, I add half milk half heavy cream, whip it up put in fridge till the pastry puffs are cool , fill them up and it is delicious and everyone loves it. Of course, none of them are pastry experts or anything.

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Or maybe you call it pastry cream when a pro makes it and pudding when your mother opens the box?! :wink: People don't know what I mean when I say I fill a cake with pastry cream and chopped fruit, but when I say it's like a vanilla pudding, they get it.

I don't know the technical difference, either; but I bet the Jello company couldn't sell "pastry cream" but they could sell "jello pudding". You know those marketing types!

I attended a seminar years and years ago, and the chef (whose name I can't remember) said - there's not much new in the world, but you can put a spin on it and call it something else. He was talking about deconstructing tiramisu (the ultra popular dessert at the time) and saying that if you called it tiramisu everyone would think they knew what it was and may not order it, but if you called it something else, they'd be intrigued and you could sell a lot more of it.....

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And while schneich is correct to some extent, you can overcook cornstarch.  The starch cells will swell to absorb moisture up to a certain point and after that, with more time and heat, they will burst and degrade which isn't desirable.  Cornstarch tends to be moderately able to withstand high heat for certain lengths of time.  Other factors which affect thickening are the amount of sugar in a recipe (sugar is  hygroscopic and thus takes away some of the moisture that could be absorbed by the starch) as well as amount of acid in a recipe which can reduce the thickening power of a starch.

sorry, but this seems totally wrong.

to get the "gelatinization" AKA thickening effect you actually NEED to explode the starch granules in the first place, otherwise the thickening power is inferior.

the only recipe i know where you destroy the starch binding power is a classic roux, but you literally have to fry the flour to denaturate the starch to a point where the binding power is significantly reduced.

the hygroscopic effect of sugar in a starchbased system is negletable since the effect would be close to 0 (if using a sane amount of sugar)

you are right about the acid, it certainly has a negative effect to the binding power.

cheers

t.

p.s. Harold McGee, Hervé This, Heston Blumenthal duh! (--- no offence intended ;-)

Edited by schneich (log)

toertchen toertchen

patissier chocolatier cafe

cologne, germany

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  • 13 years later...

I set off on a mission for an improved way to prepare pastry cream.  Or, if you will, vanilla pudding.  Some while back I demonstrated I could make excellent white sauce in a blender.  Why not, I thought, pastry cream?

 

My starting point was the Ferrandi Paris recipe for pastry cream.  I used the specified Ferrandi ingredients and quantities, save I substituted potato starch for cornstarch, and vanilla paste in place of a vanilla bean.  I dared to add a New World pinch of Kosher salt.

 

The method was entirely my own:  I added milk, sugar, flour, starch, eggs, and the pinch of salt to the blender jar, and blended till the mixture thickened and reached 95C.  I then added the butter and vanilla paste and blended till just incorporated.

 

My only complaints are the pastry cream is sweeter than I would like, and a bit too thick.  And I fear I over did it on the vanilla.  If I prepare this again I will use egg yolks rather than whole eggs, double the flour to 50 grams, and omit the starch entirely.

 

It would have been an easy enough recipe except for that one egg I dropped on the kitchen floor.

 

 

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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Hearing no response, I prepared a batch of all flour and 4 egg yolks rather than 2 eggs.  I love this stuff.  Unlike traditional pastry cream it is easy enough to make while drunk.  I didn't even drop an egg on the kitchen floor like last time.

 

(Disclaimer:  when I dropped the egg on the kitchen floor I was sober.)

 

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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On 8/23/2021 at 9:29 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Does anyone know why the Ferrandi recipe calls both for starch and flour?

 

I think using only flour makes for a denser pastry cream than only starch, so a combination is used for a texture that's somewhere in the middle.

 

They aren't *entirely* substitutable though - cornstarch is a more powerful thickener than flour, so you don't need as much of it to get the same final thickness. Some people mention a more noticeable starchy taste with a flour-only pastry cream. Finally, starch-thickened pastry creams can't be frozen, as the starch will break down, but flour-only creams can be frozen.

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