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Pastry cream too runny and other strawberry tart questions...

(14 Posts)
JoyceBarnaby Sat 13-Aug-11 22:25:53

I made a sweet pastry case today and filled it with creme patisserie. I topped it with fresh strawberries but the cream was too thin and they sank. It all tasted quite nice, although pastry cream is so incredibly sweet, isn't it?!!

So, does anyone have any ideas on why it didn't thicken?

Or, alternatively, my other question is whether anyone can suggest a different filling for a strawberry tart? I think I read about a filling made with creme fraiche or am I mad?!

Kladdkaka Sun 14-Aug-11 11:25:39

How did you make your creme? I used to work in a bakery and for fruit tarts it was a 50/50 mix of ambrosia tinned custard and whipped up double cream.

JoyceBarnaby Mon 15-Aug-11 08:06:06

Well, that sounds a lot simpler than what I did! I whisked eggs yolks and sugar, then stirred in some flour. I then boiled some milk, whisked with the egg mixture, added the whole lot to the pan again and boiled it again. I had to whisk a few times for lumps. Then I removed it from the heat and added some vanilla extract. I poured it into a bowl and covered it.

I have previous for runny custard. Even Bird's custard powder doesn't thicken for me. Maybe I don't boil it enough? I'm always worried about burning it, though.

OhdearNigel Mon 15-Aug-11 13:07:52

You either didn't use a high enough flour or egg yolk ratio to the quantity of milk or you didn't cook it out enough. You really need it to be pretty thick in the pan before decanting it. Think choux pastry thickness - thick enough that when you stir it you can see the bottom of the pan. You can safely bring creme pat to the boil without fear of it curdling.

[pastry chef]

thisisme123 Mon 15-Aug-11 13:09:31

I once contemplated making creme patisserie, the I spotted it in the baking aisle at Sainburys. Ready made for about £1.30. I'm not sure I will ever bother now.

OhdearNigel Mon 15-Aug-11 13:11:13

You could just use creme chantilly - whipped cream with caster sugar and vanilla extract to taste.

TobyLerone Mon 15-Aug-11 13:11:25

I used to work in a bakery and for fruit tarts it was a 50/50 mix of ambrosia tinned custard and whipped up double cream.

Bleugh. This is not creme patisserie!

What OhDearNigel said. Also, was it entirely cold when you added the strawberries?

OhdearNigel Mon 15-Aug-11 13:12:49

more of a cut price creme chiboust :D

JoyceBarnaby Mon 15-Aug-11 14:06:12

Thank you! I suspect I didn't cook it out enough. I will give it another go, although the creme chantilly sounds good. I'm preparing this for a 'Come Dine With Me' night with friends, so the chantilly is less likely to be seen as cheating, IYSWIM!!

Thanks again.

Kladdkaka Mon 15-Aug-11 14:46:11

TobyLerone, according to Sainsbury's it is. grin

TobyLerone Mon 15-Aug-11 15:17:07

Ha! grin

JoyceBarnaby Mon 15-Aug-11 22:21:07

Just a thought as some pastry experts have commented on this thread - does anyone have any tips for good sweet pastry? Mine was quite good, if a little over-cooked, but I'm always looking for improvements! I actually use my kitchenaid, putting the bowl and the attachment thingy in the fridge first to keep everything cold. It seems to work okay but I always have a sneaking suspicion it's not the thing to do. It's just do easy and my food processor is at the back of a cupboard. I know I could just use my hands but my kitchenaid is my new best friend at the moment!

TobyLerone Tue 16-Aug-11 09:25:54

I always use my food processor. But then again, I don't have a KitchenAid. I'm pretty sure that if I did, I would use it for absolutely everything, including laundry and babysitting.

It's perfectly normal practice to put the bowl in the fridge or even the freezer before making pastry. Carry on doing that smile

JoyceBarnaby Tue 16-Aug-11 20:21:39

Thank you!

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