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Filtering by Category: french

Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)

Patricia Reitz

Vanilla Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere) - ButterYum

Vanilla Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere) - ButterYum

Vanilla Pastry Cream (aka creme patissiere, creme patisserie, or creme pat) is silky and delicious - no wonder it's a component of countless desserts. Fruit tarts (like this one), eclairs (I have a great step-by-step tutorial here), cream puffs, Portuguese custard tarts, trifle, profiteroles, mille-feuilles, Boston cream pie, and so many more.   

I've made a lot of pastry cream over the years and this recipe is definitely the easiest.  All the ingredients are placed in a saucepan and cooked together until they thicken.  Strain, chill, and use!  Here's how I make it.   

To begin, place sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan.

Whisk them together to break up any cornstarch clumps. 

Add milk.  I like to use whole milk.

Whisk to mix.

Add egg yolks.  Just check out the color of those yolks - it really pays to buy free-range eggs from a local farm.

Whisk to mix.

Add butter.  No need to soften, just throw it in cold. 

Next scrape the seeds from half of a vanilla bean pod.  Cut the pod lengthwise and scrape the seeds out.

how do you make pastry cream, crem pat, creme pat, creme patissiere, creme patisserie - recipe with how to photos

Add them to the saucepan.  Now it's time to start heating our mixture.

You can substitute pure vanilla extract if you don't have vanilla bean pods, but wait until the pastry cream is finished cooking before you add it (or it may taste bitter).

The easiest recipe for making pastry cream, creme patissiere, creme patisserie, crem pat - recipe and photos

Whisk constantly over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches the boiling point.

Continue to boil, whisking constantly, for a full minute.  

Mmm - see how the mixture has thickened?  Now turn off the heat. 

how to make pastry cream, creme patissiere, creme patisserie, crem pat - recipe and how to photos

Immediately pass the pastry cream through a sieve.  Actually, you don't have to do this step, but it'll remove any lumps.  

See?  There were some bits of cooked egg and some vanilla bean strands, but not anymore! 

How to make pastry cream - with photos - ButterYum

The last step is to cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, directly on the surface of the cream, and chill completely before using. 

how to make vanilla sugar - ButterYum

Oh, and don't throw that vanilla bean pod away.  See all those old vanilla bean pods in the jar?  I've been saving them for years to make vanilla sugar.

How to make homemade vanilla sugar - ButterYum

Every time I use a pod, I put it in the jar...

Yes, you can make your own vanilla sugar at home - ButterYum

And whenever the level of sugar in the jar gets low, I top it off with more.  The sugar will absorb the flavor of the vanilla.  I use it for baking and sweetening beverages.

how to make vanilla sugar at home - with photos

Give it a try!

Here are links to some of the items used to make this recipe:

Vanilla Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere or Creme Patisserie)

makes 2 cups

Printable Recipe


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • pinch table salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean pod (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)


  1. In a 2-quart heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat, cook all ingredients (except vanilla extract, if using), stirring constantly, until it begins to boil; continue whisking for a full minute.
  2. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve.
  3. Cover pastry cream with a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface; chill completely before using. 

adapted from Martha Stewart


  • When using vanilla extract instead of vanilla beans, stir in to thickened pastry cream AFTER it is removed from the heat.
  • To make vanilla sugar, place used vanilla bean pod in jar and cover with sugar.  Use for baking or sweetening beverages. 

Easiest Chocolate Frosting Ever!

Patricia Reitz

This is easiest and best tasting chocolate frosting you'll ever have.  Plan ahead - must be made at least 8 hours ahead.

Chop chocolate into small pieces.

Heat heavy cream in a heavy-bottom saucepan until just before it reaches the boiling point.

Place chocolate into a heat-safe bowl and pour the hot cream on top. Steep, undisturbed, for 2 minutes.

After 2 minutes, stir or whisk the chocolate and cream together until all the chocolate is melted.

Add the vanilla extract and stir again to combine.

The mixture should be smooth and glossy.

Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside for at least 8 hours (can be up to 72 hours). DO NOT cover the bowl with plastic wrap as condensation will form and drip into the mixture, causing the chocolate to seize (turn grainy and lumpy).

After 8 hours have passed, the chocolate and cream will have set up to the perfect consistency for frosting. Can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days, chill or freeze leftovers.

Items used to make this recipe:

Easy Chocolate Frosting

makes about 3 1/2 cups 

Printable Recipe


  • 14 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (high quality)

  • 16 ounces heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Place chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl; set aside.

  2. In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, heat cream until just before it reaches the boiling point (small bubbles will form around the edges).

  3. Remove cream from heat and pour over chocolate.

  4. Let the chocolate and cream steep together for 2 minutes, then whisk gently until the two become combine and become shiny, dark, and glossy.

  5. Add pure vanilla extract and stir to combine.

  6. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel (not plastic wrap); set aside in a cool spot for several hours before using.