Saturday, April 6, 2013

Vanilla Pastry Cream and a meal plan

Happy weekend! 

This morning when I woke up, Brian asked what time I had to be at work. I had to remind him that it was the weekend! No work today!

This morning I'm going on a 7 mile run and then out to do some errands. We're trying to keep it low key this weekend and try to really relax.

Earlier in the week I posted about the Perfect Tart Shell. Did you see that yummy creamy filling? It's a great vanilla pastry cream. Pastry cream is very versatile. Ever wonder what's inside an eclair? Pastry Cream. How about Boston cream donuts? Pastry Cream. Hmmm, fruit tarts? Pastry cream.

This is my go to filling for a vanilla creamy center. 

Ingredients, recipe from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk (you really need whole milk, no skim milk here)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter

1.) In a saucepan, heat the milk to a simmer
2.) Meanwhile, whisk the yolks, sugar and cornstarch until thick and pale
3.) While whisking, slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the eggs (tempering). Continue to add milk until the yolks are warmed
4.) Add the yolks to the saucepan and heat over medium heat while whisking until the mixture comes to a bowl (about 1-2 minutes). The mixture will thicken very quickly.
5.) Pour the cream into a large bowl and mix in the vanilla extract
6.) After about 3 minutes, stir in the butter until melted
7.) Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against the surface of the cream (to prevent a skim from forming) and let cool in the refrigerator
8.) After the cream is cooled, pour into the tart shell or use as a filling

To assemble the fruit tart
- you will also need a variety of fruit, I used a 1 pint of strawberries (washed, hulled and sliced), 1/2 pint blueberries and raspberries (washed and dried)
- you will also need apricot jelly and a pastry brush: Apricot jelly is what gives the amazing shine to tarts. Simply brush the fruit and crust with strained apricot jelly. It helps if you warm up the jelly in the microwave for about 30 seconds to help it spread easily.

1.) Remove the tart shell from the tart pan and place a small amount of jelly on the center of your serving plate before placing the shell on the plate (this helps the tart to stay put and not slide around)
2.) Fill the shell with the pastry cream, smoothing out the top
3.) I start with a layer of strawberries, brush with apricot jelly
4.) Continue to add the rest of your fruit, glazing and you go
5.) Keep the tart in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Enjoy!

And now for the meal plan.

Chicken Ziti Broccoli

Greek Burgers with tzatziki sauce

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie (remember I have an extra in the freezer)

Left overs

Chicken Chile Verde with Perfect Quinoa 

Roasted Salmon

Date Night!

What are you weekend plans? Any Running?


  1. That is the most gorgeous looking tart! I love how generous the fruit topping is, looks so delicious!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! When I'm making a fruit dessert I always figure there better be a lot of fruit!