Tag Archives: pastry cream

Individual Apple Crostatas

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Individual Apple Crostatas with Pastry CreamThe Italians call them crostatas and the French call them croustades but they are basically the same item.  Individual Apple Crostatas with Pastry Cream is a meeting between the pastry worlds of Italy and France.

Traditionally, a butter crust that is pleated is used as the vessel for the apple crostatas  but in researching this, phyllo seems to be a second choice. When it comes to the restaurant, I stick with tradition when making the crostatas.   Tony’s serves them with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.  While I love this version, my accompaniment of choice is pastry cream piped into the warm crostata.  The chill of the pastry cream softening in the warm apple pastry is truly special and looks so much more difficult than it is. Continue reading

Double Banana Caramel Cream Pie

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Double Banana Caramel Cream Pie
My love of baking was undoubtedly a gift from my mother among very many others that have sustained me, not only throughout my lifetime, but also throughout my business career.

This Double Banana Caramel Cream Pie would have pleased her immensely.  My mother was a fantastic cook and baker.  To support us while my father returned to college for his second degree, we had 16 people for dinner at our house every night during the week and two teachers lived with us.  Mother cooked all of those meals without help and on Sunday she pulled out all the stops for her family.  She was an amazing woman!

My favorite desserts were anything with custard, pudding or pastry cream as a component.  Mother was an interesting combination of scratch cooking (I ate croissants at every important occasion, including holidays, before anyone in the states ever heard of them) and little shortcuts she learned along the way.  One of her shortcuts was combining Jello vanilla pudding mix which she made reducing the amount of milk slightly and combining it with whipped cream.  This was one of my favorites.  She would use it in cream puffs, banana cream pie and all manner of desserts calling for pastry cream.  I loved every one of them. Continue reading

Strawberry Verrines

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry Verrine

A verrine is a layered dessert or appetizer that is served in a small glass.  The glass allows for a beautiful vertical presentation.  Verrines originally came to us from France, but as with all foods we make them ours by the ingredients used.

With strawberry season upon us, this strawberry verrine is the perfect example of an updated classic dessert.   Many of the original dessert versions featured Bavarian cream which is set with gelatin.  There are usually three layers and anything goes.

This version actually consists of two recipes already on the blog.  Each changed just slightly to achieve this verrine.  This can be made a day or two ahead without the decorative strawberries on top.  The mousse consists of the Dark Satin Ganache to which I add whipped cream when it has cooled.  The top is pastry cream without the gelatin so it is a softer cream. The strawberries should be diced very small, about 1/4 inch so each mouthful gets a goodly amount that will blend with the other ingredients. Continue reading

Fruit Basket Banana Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Fruit Basket Banana CakeBananas, strawberries and pineapple team up to make the Fruit Basket Banana Cake. It  is the perfect cake if you are looking for something light but with lots of flavor and it is a great summertime dessert.

The banana cake is one I worked on for a while.  Most banana cakes are heavy and I wanted one that was lighter but still had plenty of banana flavor.  It is unusual in that it uses both oil and butter.  Other than that, it is a straight forward, easy to make banana cake. The cake also makes great cupcakes with a browned butter buttercream.

The pastry cream is lightened with a bit of whipped cream.  Crushed pineapple is folded in and after it is spread between the layers, strawberries cover the cream.  The Fruit Basket Banana Cake is finished in whipped cream with a piped lattice design on top. Continue reading

Gateau St. Honore

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished St. HonoreI once taught this St. Honore as a pastry class in one dessert -and so it is.  From the pastry cream to the Pate Brisee to Chou paste all finished with a hard caramel decoration, the St. Honore is a spectacular showpiece.  Everyone who loves baking and pastry should make this at least once.  Although it has a lot of steps, they can be broken down into an easily managed schedule.

This was one of the chapters in my first book, “The New Pastry Cook”. As with every other chapter, the information in the front of the chapters is key to the success of the pastry.  Here is the chapter header.

Chou paste is one of, if not the most versatile basic pastries in the entire repertoire of pastry making. By definition, chou paste is really a thick sauce and not a pastry at all.  It can be sweet or savory, baked, poached or deep fried, made free-form or piped into shapes. Alone, it maybe filled and/or sauced, or it can be combined with other pastries to make elaborate desserts.  Leftover paste can be turned into delicious hors d’oeuvres. It takes its name from the french word chou, which means cabbage, the best- known shape of chou paste, the cream puff, was thought to resemble a small cabbage. Continue reading