This Coffee Pastry Cream, is an easy Italian recipe, it makes an amazing filling for cakes or even pies. Made with a strong coffee, fresh cream, egg yolks and milk. It will take your favorite recipes to the next level!
I used to be very intimated making pastry cream but this recipe is practically fool proof. It’s quick, easy and so delicious. I love to use it as a filling for Pies and Pastries. The only thing is you need to give it all your attention!
- Milk – whole milk
- Cream – whole, whipping or heavy cream
- Coffee – I use espresso but as long as it is strong and it can be decaffeinated
- Egg yolks – room temperature egg yolks
- Flour – all purpose flour
- Sugar – fine sugar
What is fine sugar?
Fine or Caster sugar is slightly finer and dissolves more easily than regular granulated sugar. You can substitute it at a 1 for 1 basis or you can make your own fine sugar just by blending granulated sugar until fine.
What are room temperature eggs?
Eggs should not be left at normal room temperature (68F- 70F/ 20C – 21C) for more than two hours or if your house is warmer no more than one hour. This is according to the FDA.
A quicker way to achieve room temperature eggs is to place the eggs in the shell in a bowl of warm or very warm water (not boiling or very hot) for 5 minutes, make sure the water is covering them, and then you will have room temperature eggs.
How to make Coffee Pastry Cream
On medium heat, heat the milk, cream and coffee in a medium saucepan or pot until hot but do not boil, let cool to warm.
In a medium pot add the egg yolks and sugar whisk to combine, whisk in the flour.
Place the pot over low/medium heat, slowly add the warm milk mixture and continue whisking (don’t stop until very thick).
Pour into a clean bowl cover with plastic wrap, make sure the plastic wrap touches the pastry cream, refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.
Beat the refrigerated cream before using to bring it make to its creaminess.
There are so many delicious ways to flavor your Italian pastry filling, lemon is just one of them. Try these other varieties to mix it up!
- Vanilla pastry cream: Omit the lemon and use only the vanilla extract or use ½ teaspoon of vanilla paste or vanilla bean for a more concentrated flavor. This Classic Pastry Cream has all the directions.
- Lemon: This easy Lemon Pastry Cream is made with lemon zest .
- Dark chocolate: Skip the lemon and stir in 2 ounces of melted and cooled dark chocolate. Follow my chocolate pastry cream directions to see how it’s done!
- Liqueurs: Add 1-2 tablespoons of Limoncello, La strega Liqueur or Cointreau Liqueur.
- Fruit puree: Stir in your favorite fruit puree to add a different flavor.
- Pumpkin: For a seasonal variation, try this pumpkin pastry cream.
Tips to make the perfect Pastry Cream
- Use only room temperature egg yolks.
- Stir continously.
- Mix dry ingredients before turning on the heat.
- Heat the (liquids) milk and cream until hot but do not boil.
- Make sure you have about 10-15 minutes of non interrupted stirring time, don’t stop stirring!
- Immediately place thickened cream in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, make sure it touches the Pastry Cream.
- Be sure to refrigerate the cream for at least 2-3 hours before using.
- Beat the refrigerated pastry cream for about 30 seconds before using.
Fun Ways to Use It
What is the difference between custard cream and pastry cream?
The two are very similar hence the confusion but pastry cream is actually thicker, so thick that you could actually eat it with a spoon like pudding! Custard cream is often served warm and is a bit runnier.
How long will Pastry Cream last in the Refrigerator?
The pastry cream will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Be sure to use fresh milk that has a longer expiry date.
Can it be frozen?
Never freeze pastry cream because it will never have the same creamy texture once it is thawed.
I hope you enjoy this Coffee Pastry Cream. I would love to know what you decide to use it for. Enjoy!
Coffee Pastry Cream
- 2 medium pots
- Heat resistant bowl
- ¾ cup milk whole/heavy
- ¾ cup cream whole/whipping or heavy cream with at least 30% fat content
- 4 large egg yolks room temperature
- 5-7 tablespoons strong coffee
- 3½ tablespoons all purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- On medium heat, heat the milk, cream and coffee in a medium saucepan or pot until hot but do not boil, let cool to warm.
- In a medium pot add the egg yolks and sugar whisk to combine, whisk in the flour.
- Place the pot over low/medium heat, slowly add the warm milk mixture and continue whisking (don’t stop until very thick).
- Transfer the pastry cream into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, make sure the plastic wrap touches the pastry cream, refrigerate for at least 3 hours or even better overnight, before using.
- Beat the refrigerated cream before using to bring it make to its creaminess.
Updated from May 2, 2016.