Monday, May 03, 2010

Crema Pasticcera

Crema Pasticcera - just saying it makes me smile. It's a dish that I can't ever remember not knowing what it was and along with béchamel, these are the sauces I've seem to have made all my life. What surprises me, is that I've not ever written the recipe for it on this blog.

Crema Pasticcera© by Haalo

Crema Pasticcera

3 egg yolks
80 grams sugar
40 grams cornflour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1 vanilla bean, cut in half

Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan along with the vanilla bean. Place on a low heat and very gently bring to near boiling point - stir constantly to ensure the milk doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until creamy and light. Sift in the flour and whisk until it has been incorporated. Pour in the cooled milk mixture and whisk until smooth and runny. Strain to remove the vanilla pods and pour out into a clean saucepan.

Place over a low heat and stir until the mixture thickens. This needs to be done slowly to ensure the flour cooks out and you don't end up with scrambled eggs. When you start feeling resistance remove the pot from the heat and stir until that resistance fades. You'll find that initially it will thicken it spots, it's important to keep blending these into the sauce until it's uniformly thick. Return it back to the heat and continue stirring.

Once the sauce is thick - it should hold its shape - remove from the heat, stir vigorously before pouring into a heat-proof container. To stop a skin forming, place plastic wrap against the top of the sauce.

Crema Pasticcera© by Haalo

While the vanilla flavoured crema pasticcera is delicious, there are two other versions that are just as popular and simple to make.

For Lemon flavoured Crema Pasticcera:
Omit the Vanilla bean. Peel the rind from a lemon, being careful not to remove the pith. Place the lemon peel in the pan with the cream and milk and simmer slowly until it almost reaches boiling point. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
To extract even more lemon flavour, my mother will actually cook the crema with the lemon peel and only remove it once the sauce has thickened.

For Chocolate flavoured Crema Pasticcera:
Omit the Vanilla bean. Add 1-2 tablespoons of Dutch Cocoa to the milk and cream and simmer slowly until the cocoa has dissolved and the mixture almost reaches boiling point. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

To finish - a quick dessert idea

Crema Pasticcera with Quince© by Haalo

On a base of vanilla crema pasticcera, slices of Slow-poached quince. Would it be too bad of me if I had this for breakfast?


  1. Mmmm this looks so rich and creamy. I love vanilla and I like seeing the little seeds suspended in cream. I could take a pot of this and eat it all myself.

  2. What a beautiful pic !!!

  3. Yammy!! I love crema pasticcera!!

  4. Mmm... that's nice!
    Would love to try that soon!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  5. My aunt Lucia taught me to make it (the lemon flavored version, the way you mother suggests) and it's always been a favorite of mine. Have it for breakfast, by all means, or any other time of the day.

  6. Thanks Mark - I'll join you!

    Thanks Priya!

    Thanks Zia Elle - love it too!

    Thanks Aunt Tam!

    I love the lemon version Simona can easily see why it's a favourite!

  7. It turns out very nicely, I could smell the scent of vanilla beans right from here. Definitely gonna give it a shot. Thanks for the recipe.


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