This delicious Creamy Pumpkin Pastry Cream is quick and easy. The perfect filling for cakes, pies, cookies and even cream puffs! Or why not change up your Thanksgiving and make a pastry cream crostata instead of a pumpkin pie?
I decided to make this based on my Italian Pastry Cream recipe, after making a few pumpkin recipes I had some extra puree in the freezer and thought why not add an Italian touch to Thanksgiving this year? So that’s how I came up with a Pumpkin Pastry Cream Crostata, recipe to follow very soon.
What are the ingredients
- Pumpkin Puree – I made my own Homemade Puree using a butternut squash although an acorn squash would also work. Or you can use store bought puree, just make sure it is made with no additions.
- Milk – I used whole milk although 2% would also work.
- Cream – be sure to use whole, heavy or whipping cream, with at least 30% fat.
- Egg Yolks – should be room temperature, they are used to help thicken the cream.
- Flour – all purpose flour – used as a thickener.
- Sugar – it adds sweetness and helps to give the cream a smooth and even texture.
- Vanilla – for flavor.
- Cinnamon – also for flavour.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
What is Pastry Cream
Also known as Creme Patissiere it is thick like a custard that is made with egg yolks, sugar and milk, I like to include cream also because it gives it a creamy texture and more delicious taste. It is thickened with either flour or cornstarch.
How to make it
In a medium pot heat the milk and cream until very hot, but not boiling, remove from heat and let cool to warm.
In a medium pot whisk together the yolks and sugar until well combined. Add the flour and vanilla and combine well.
Place the pot with the yolks, over low/medium heat and slowly add the milk, whisking continuously.
Once all the milk has been added, add the puree, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
Continue whisking on medium heat, until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and place in a heat proof bowl, cover the top of the cream with plastic wrap, make sure the plastic is touching the cream, let the pastry cream, cool to room temperature, then either use or refrigerate until ready to use.
Tips for making it
- Use the fresh ingredients with a longer expire date, that way the cream will last longer.
- Be sure to continuously whisk the mixture or it will end up being very lumpy, and that is the last thing you want.
- Don’t cook the cream on too a high heat, medium heat is perfect.
- Once thickened place in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, make sure it touches the cream, that way it keeps from forming a skin on top.
- You can use the cream after it cools, but it does taste better if refrigerated for at least 3 hours.
- While the pastry cream cools it will thicken even more.
Be sure to store the cream in clean bowl, covered in plastic and the plastic is covering all the pastry cream on top, it must be stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
No you should never freeze it, because it will not have the same creamy texture when thawed, the ingredients will separate.
You could try passing it through a sieve, to remove the lumps, if that doesn’t work, then you might just have to start over.
It also makes a delicious filling for these Italian Cream Filled Pastries / Pasticiotti or even Layer Cakes or how about some Bignè? However you use it, my kids have been known to eat it with a spoon. I hope you like. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Pastry Cream
- ⅔ cup milk (I used whole milk)
- ⅔ cup cream (whole/heavy/whipping)
- 2 large egg yolks (room temperature)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (or caster/fine sugar)
- 1¾ tablespoons all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (homemade or store bought)*
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
* For homemade Pumpkin Puree.
- In a medium pot heat the milk and cream until very hot, but not boiling, remove from heat and let cool to warm.
- In a medium pot whisk together the yolks and sugar until well combined. Add the flour and vanilla and combine well.
- Place the pot with the yolks, over low/medium heat and slowly add the milk, whisking continuously.
- Once all the milk has been added, add the puree, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, continue whisking on medium heat, until the mixture has thickened, approximately 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and place in a heat proof bowl, cover the top of the cream with plastic wrap, make sure the plastic is touching the cream, let the pastry cream, cool to room temperature, then either use or refrigerate until ready to use. Pastry cream tastes even better if you make it ahead of time and let it chill in fridge for approximately 3 hours before using. Enjoy!
John Hollan says
I used this recipe to fill some seasonal eclairs. They are so delicious… it is like having a very creamy and portable pumpkin pie! This recipe will get used again and again and again!
Hi John, thanks so much, so glad you like the recipe. Great idea with filling eclairs. Take care!
Kaye Bullock-Kingham says
Thanks for posting the recipe. But you did not say how much sugar is needed.
Hi Kaye, sorry about that, I just added, thanks so much for letting me know. Have a wonderful Sunday.
Kaye Bullock-Kingham says
So I used your italian pastry cream recipe in the meantime and added the pumpkin puree (with clove, nutmeg, cinnamon added) and I want to eat the whole bowl! It’s like pumpkin pie in a cream form. Thanks again for amending the recipe anyway. I’m now going to make your donuts (baked) for the cream. Enjoy your Sunday!
Hi Kaye, thanks so much, I know I had the same problem, I couldn’t stop tasting it. 🙂