The New Bakers Dozen
pastry cream in steam kettle

The The Bakers Dozen: pastry cream in steam kettle
By Dolphinwaves (Dolphinwaves) on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 01:04 am: Edit

I'm starting to make pastry cream in larger quantities and have decided to use the steam kettle. It's been too many years since I used one to make pastry cream. Does anyone use one? do you go ahead and throw everything in? how high do you cook it? and do you stir the whole time?

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 12:23 pm: Edit

( throw everything in ), make it just like you would on the stove.
( how high do you cook it )....just to boil.
( do you stir the whole time )....after both parts are blended together you can stir every 15-20 sec., it cooks pretty fast.

By Dolphinwaves (Dolphinwaves) on Saturday, October 18, 2003 - 11:46 am: Edit

I'm not very happy with the pastry cream in the steam kettle, it it coming out very lumpy. And then it also gets very watery, this does mix back in but the lumps are really annoying.


By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Saturday, October 18, 2003 - 07:45 pm: Edit

the steam kettle will cook the mix very, very fast.
try lowering the heat and stirring a little more.
now I've always used a cornstarch mix, are you? or are you using flour.
remember, 3 min's after it boils its done. for this last 3 min's you should stir.
if you add butter at the end so there is no skin, try doing that after it cools for 30 mins in a holding pan.
if you want to try the rec. I use let me know, it's worked for me for years in a kettle or pot.
good luck.

By Dolphinwaves (Dolphinwaves) on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 11:32 am: Edit

I do use cornstarch for my recipe, which might be part of the problem, when I mix half the sugar with the cornstarch then add the eggs I can't get all the lumps mixed out, this wasn't as big of a problem when I did a small batch in a regular pot. But then again, that might not be where the lumps are coming from, because I tried doing it by adding everything to the steam kettle then cooking it slowly, stirring every once in a while til it started to get thicker then stirring constantly and it still ended up being very lumpy.

Thanks for the offer of your recipe, I think I'll try it and see how that works.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 01:32 pm: Edit

dissolve your cornstarch with half the milk.
stir until smooth.
add eggs, stir.
boil rest of milk with your sugar, vanilla bean, (whatever).
when this boils, add a little hot stuff to the cold stuff and stir(temper,right?), then add the cold stuff, (now warm) to the hot stuff in the steam kettle and stir.
wait 1 min. and stir again.
wait 1-2 min and stir again.
when mix starts to boil on the edges stir for rest of cooking time.
it should be completely cooked 3-4 min's AFTER it starts to boil.(no matter how big or small the amount)
you don't need a really high temp.
when you pour the mix out of kettle, pour through a china cap, stainer, cheesecloth, ect.
when you have put the mix into it's hotel holding pan to cool, dot with butter. this prevents a skin from forming. OR just cover with plastic wrap and fold back two corners.
leave mix out until completely cooled, this will cut down on the amount of water that forms under the plastic.
if a skin does form don't throw it out, warm it up with a little milk and stir, then add it to the rest of your mix.

By Matisse (Matisse) on Tuesday, October 21, 2003 - 09:59 pm: Edit


If you notice water, then the emulsion is broken.

So, put sugar into the milk, cornstarch into the egg yolks and mix until lumps are gone. Once the milk boils, temper the egg mixture and place into the milk mixture. Bring this to a boil as quickly as possible and cook out the starch.

Once done, strain and use a big immersion blender to add the butter. Watch the temp or the butter will break.

Cool down rapidly, line sheet pans with plastic wrap, spread the Pastry Cream and cover with plastic wrap to the touch. Put in walk in.

Once cool, squeeze out the PC into clean containers.

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 01:53 am: Edit

Jesus tap dancing Crist !
You go through all that just to make Pastry Cream.
Your telling her to cook quick, I'm telling her to cook slow.
We should talk first before giving advice.
Why would you put the finished cream on sheet pans and then transfer when it's cool. All that is done in one hotel pan. Your just getting a extra pan dirty.
Putting milk into the cornstarch-egg mix will slow down the cooking time, BUT it also makes for a smoother blend once the two are combined.
Just another way I suppose.

By Dolphinwaves (Dolphinwaves) on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 11:11 am: Edit

Thanks Chefspike, I'm going to try the pastry cream tonight at work so I'll let you know how it comes out. I don't think the water comes from it being broken, I think it is just forming under the plastic when it cools, so I'll try your way and let it sit out til cools down.
I do have another recipe that calls for clear gel, and you whip the pastry cream, til it cools then add the butter, I know it worked really well, but its been 13 years since I've used it(they had it at one of my first jobs)and of course I didn't write down what clear gel was or the company it came from, so I don't know how hard it would be to find.

By Matisse (Matisse) on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 10:15 pm: Edit

1)You cook it quickly for two reasons: the longer the cream is being cooked the higher the risk of scrambeling the eggs; the higher the heat the sooner the eggs will coagulate without scrambeling. 2) The longer the cream cooks, the more water will evaporate and intensify an eggy flavor which you don't want.

Transfering it onto sheet pans ensures the fastes way of cooling the cream down and keep it safe (!).

Also, when using plastic wrap, it should touch the cream and no water or skin will form.

Exec. Pastry Chef, Chicago

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 10:13 am: Edit

The higher the heat the faster the egss will scramble!, they will coagulate and moisture will not evaporate if the temp. is kept low enough...(212F) approx!
Bring to a light boil then whisk very quicky

Food Science 101, Ft. Laud. FL

By Dolphinwaves (Dolphinwaves) on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 10:50 am: Edit

I made the pastry cream last night at work. I used chefspikes method and it worked beautifully. I have cooked it quickly, and that doesn't work, it comes out too lumpy and it was also grainy (isn't the right word, but something like that). Maybe it was also mixing the cornstarch with the milk, but what ever it was it was a beautiful mix. I didn't have time to let it cool down out side of the cooler, so I put it in the cooler with the edges of the plastic wrap peeled pack, so we'll see today how the water is.
Thanks for all your input. Christie

By Chefspike (Chefspike) on Monday, October 27, 2003 - 04:57 pm: Edit

I have tasted an eggy flavor in some creams, not mine.
My problem with it going onto sheet pans is I've seen it turn grey at the edges, from the pan.
Yes, it's good to have the plastic or paper touch the cream.
And I guess I'll sign off the same.
Exec. Pastry Chef, Los Angeles and Simi Valley.
(I live in both places, does that count?)

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