Tag: custard

Custard: the 8 tricks to make it perfect – Italian Cuisine


It is one of the bases of pastry, versatile and greedy, it would be easy to make, but… despite everything, something can go wrong. How to prevent the cream from "going crazy", the causes and the (few) remedies


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The custard, often alone pastry chef for friends (it has many) it is fantastic: very good, it is ideal for stuffing cream puffs and éclairs, cannoli, cakes and pastries; also excellent in cups, to be enjoyed in spoonfuls or with biscuits and waffles. This delight has an interesting history that perhaps not everyone knows.

French or Italian?
Its creation is an eternal dispute between French and Italians, the two most advanced cultures in the field of European pastry from the Middle Ages onwards. In 1691, the first documented recipe of a crème pâtissière appears in the culinary work of François Massialot, cook of illustrious personalities of his time, cardinals, marquises and even the brother of the Sun King, the Duke of Orleans: still today his "Le Cuisinier Royal et Bourgeois”Is considered among the first culinary dictionaries in the world. In addition to the crème pâtissière, also the meringues and the crème brûlée, in which the sugar coating was melted and burned with a red-hot iron scoop. However, some scholars have found traces of a cream very similar to pastry in the recipes cited in the volume Banquets, food compositions and general apparatus (printed more than a century earlier, in 1549), by Christopher of Messisbugo, Cook of the Este house and consultant of the Gonzagas. Be that as it may, this splendid cream conquered French and Italian pastry making, becoming one of the basic preparations of both schools.

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How to avoid problems
The best way to do this is… to prevent them. Here are the precautions to put in place to have a velvety and soft cream, like true pastry chefs.

1 Always use the freshest ingredients
2 Follow the recipe sequence
3 The flour (or starches) goes always sifted through a very fine mesh strainer: this will prevent the formation of lumps, sworn enemies of this sweet preparation. It is not a step that can be left out!
4 Initially, to beat the eggs and mix the flour, use a whisk (electric ones are fine too but there is the risk of overdoing the whipping and incorporating air into the cream, be careful). When you start cooking, use a wooden or silicone spoon to mix it.
5 Check the cooking temperature, perhaps with the help of a cooking thermometer: the cream should never boil. Always keep it at a temperature of just over 80 ° C, but without exceeding 85 ° C. At higher temperatures, the custard will go crazy and you'll end up with… sweet scrambled eggs!
6 Never leave your custard alone: ​​once on the stove, in fact, you don't have to never stop mixing it slowly and constantly, to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and / or forming lumps.
7 The cream should always be mixed in the same verse: once you have set the direction of travel, so to speak, never change it. Mixing it constantly and always in the same direction is a crucial step!
8 Do not abandon it even after cooking: once removed from the heat, cover the custard with cling film in contact, and finally …

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The pastry chef's trick
When preparing a custard or other derived cream, it is important cool the product as quickly as possibleto slow down the proliferation of the bacterial load. As soon as it is cooked, you have to bring it to a temperature below the cooking temperature (it must drop to about 50 ° C) and cool it down to 4 ° C. Prepare a basin with water and ice and immerse the pan with the cream just removed from the heat for two thirds (if you do not have a home blast chiller). The cream does keep at 3 ° C in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Possible remedies
We seem to have followed the recipe for our cream well, the ingredients were fresh but unfortunately the result is not what we wanted. Don't be discouraged: in some cases you can try to recover your custard.
If it's too liquid, you can add a small amount of animal gelatin (isinglass) in sheets while hot, without stopping mixing.
Self has lumps, try to pass it through a sieve, spoon after spoon, without breaking its stability and creaminess; be careful to always make slow movements.
Yup is "tearing up" just? Some suggest taking it off the heat and whipping it with an immersion blender: it improves the texture but the cream will have a slightly more pronounced egg taste. Furthermore, it could disassemble a bit and therefore become too liquid.

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Quick change pastry chef
In its most basic form – which uses only egg yolks, milk, sugar, flour (or corn or rice starch) and vanilla – custard is often considered the mother of all creams. As a pastry base, it counts among its many advantages the fact that it can be revisited with a few simple touches, so as to transform before your eyes into another, different but very good, cream: here are some of the most famous derived creams from custard

Custard + Italian meringue + gelatin = Chiboust cream

Custard + whipped cream + gelatin = Diplomatic cream

Custard + whipped cream = cream Italian chantilly

Custard + butter = Mousseline cream

A lighter, flourless version that remains velvety and less dense than classic custard is known as English cream.
You can simply perfume it with a little Cognac or Marsala or, in the non-alcoholic version, with orange juice. If you want to transform the custard into a chocolate cream, add cocoa powder when you beat the egg yolks or, when it is still hot, pour in and mix in the melted dark in a bain-marie.
Now is the time to test yourself and prepare a fantastic custard, to be enjoyed in a cup with torcetti, cat's tongues or ladyfingers, or to make irresistible cannoncini, crispy rolls of stuffed phyllo dough, a scenographic cup of cream puffs with orange caramel, or St. Joseph's zeppole for Father's Day!

Francesca Tagliabue
February 2022

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Posted 08/02/2022


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Christmas: custard, mascarpone, citrus – Italian Cuisine

English cream, elegant. Mascarpone cream, as sumptuous as a velvet. Citrus cream, fresh and spicy. Here are the three timeless divas who will contribute to the glory of panettone and pandoro

Raise your hand if you do not like to accompany the slice of panettone with a delicious English cream or make the Pandoro with the sumptuous mascarpone cream! Simple to make spoon creams, perfect to accompany the sweet moment of dessert during the holidays. Then decide whether to simply serve them in the same saucer or in an original way – in layers or stuffed. Directly from our kitchen to your table for Christmas, New Year or when you want to warm your heart in sweetness in the company of friends, relatives, or…. even alone, for incurable gluttons!

English cream

To make the custard, heat 750 g of milk with the seeds of a vanilla pod, until almost boiling.

Meanwhile, beat 6 egg yolks with 120 g of sugar, stirring until dissolved.

Pour the milk over the eggs and bring everything back to the heat.

Cook, stirring until reaching a temperature of 82-84 ° C.

Turn off, pour the cream into a bowl and let it cool, covered, so that the film does not form on the surface.


You can also flavor the custard with cinnamon or citrus peel. For a coffee aroma, heat the milk with a tablespoon of coffee beans, turn off and leave to infuse in the fridge for 12 hours. Filter the milk and heat it to prepare the cream. Alternatively, pour 2 cups of espresso into the milk before adding it to the eggs. For a chocolate flavor, melt 70-100 g of chopped chocolate in the freshly prepared cream.

Mascarpone cream

Using a whisk, whisk 4 egg yolks together with 80 g of sugar, until they are frothy.

Mix 500 g of mascarpone with 2-3 tablespoons of rum.

Pour the whipped egg yolks into the mascarpone and mix gently.

Whisk 2 egg whites until stiff and incorporate them into the mixture, mixing from bottom to top to keep the cream soft.


The cream can also be prepared without egg whites: it will have a less airy and more velvety consistency. If you prefer to avoid eggs altogether, mix 150 g of fresh cream with the flavored mascarpone, whipped with 120 g of powdered sugar. For a firmer consistency (suitable for fillings) add 10 g of gelatin sheets, soaked and melted in a saucepan, to the mascarpone. Warning: the mascarpone must be at room temperature, otherwise the jelly will set. Fill the cake and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Citrus cream

Prick 2 mandarins and 250 g of kumquat (Chinese mandarin) with a toothpick, place them in a saucepan covered with water and bring to a boil.

Remove the water and repeat the operation.

Then cut them into small pieces, including the skins, removing the stones.

Put about 450 g of these citrus fruits back into a saucepan with 100 g of sugar, 200 g of water and a piece of cinnamon.

Cook for about 35 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon and blend everything with an immersion blender or in a glass blender.


You can prepare the cream with different citrus fruits, assorting them according to your taste. You can also flavor it with cloves, vanilla, star anise or with a liqueur such as Grand Marnier. If you want a less intense flavor and a more velvety texture, add half a peeled apple in the last cooking phase.

Two ways to cut and stuff

Layered: Both the panettone and the pandoro can be cut into horizontal sections, to be stuffed between one layer and the other and then reassembled. Once filled, large desserts should be put to consolidate in the refrigerator, in order to be able to cut them into slices.

Emptied: Penetrate the base of the panettone with the knife, 2-3 cm from the edge, and cut a cylinder inside up to under the "hat". Then insert the blade flat on the side, under the "hat". Move it left and right, without widening the hole, to detach the cylinder. Take it out and cut a 2-3 cm thick disc. Fill the panettone with ice cream or cream (with jelly) and close with the disc. Put it in the freezer or in the fridge for 4 hours. Take it out 30 minutes before serving.

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Apple custard: salty or sweet? Try them both! – Italian Cuisine

Apple custard: salty or sweet? Try them both!

Stock up on apples in the next few days because you will not only be making cakes and muffins this winter, but also this delicious savory cream to serve as an appetizer or main course

If you love the apples and you would like to use them in the kitchen also to prepare savory recipes, this cream is what you are looking for.
Not really a velvety because it doesn't have cream and neither does it potatoes, but a fairly liquid cream with a sweet taste that we will enrich with a savory and slightly crunchy part.
A first, or single dish, simple and quick to prepare. We are sure you will love it.
Here's to the recipe.

Apple custard recipe


4 red delicious apples
1 cup of milk
1.5 l of broth
1 tablespoon of flour 00
1 slice of cooked ham
1 lemon
extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot
Salt to taste


Peel the apples and grate them.
Wet them with lemon juice and then cook them in boiling broth for ten minutes.
Chop the shallot and brown it in a pan with a little oil.
Add the chopped ham and let the sauce dry for a few minutes over low heat.
Once cold, blend the apples with the milk and flour and add the sautéed ham and shallot to the smoothie.
You can garnish with sour cream if you want a contrast of flavors, or top it all off with crusty bread with oil.
We do not recommend Parmesan, while you can play with aromatic herbs and seeds.

The sweet apple custard

You can transform this cream into a truly unusual dessert or a warm cuddle with the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg, even to drink in a cup.
Just replace the broth with the milk and then simply add the flour or cornstarch and let everything thicken, obviously without making any sauté with the ham!
Scented with abundant cinnamon and nutmeg if you prefer with the lemon zest you used on the apples.
Sweeten to taste with sugar dissolved in hot milk or with maple syrup added at the end on the ready dish.

Which apples to use?

You know Snow White's red apple?
To prepare this cream you have to use a red delicious, sweet, but not too much and with a crunchy consistency.
The taste is delicate and on the palate it is very fresh.
Alternatively, you can try the golden apples, which however are definitely more suitable for the sweet version together with rennets.

Scroll through the gallery above to discover the secrets of apple custard!

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