Lusciously Rich
Custard Filled Cream Puffs

Lusciously "Rich Custard" Filled Cream Puffs
I have been making cream puffs for over 20 years now but have never been 100% satisfied with my custard filling till now! Most of the custards I have made have usually called for either cornstarch, eggs, sugar and milk or flour, eggs, sugar and milk.. some more loose custards yet, have called for milk, sugar and egg yolks alone. But this recipe is well balanced with just the right amounts of flour, sugar, eggs and milk. And it works.. and has made me a very happy girl!!

In other recipes I have seen, and tried, butter was added at the end for a rich and smooth texture. The English custard is like this, where it utilizes the flour in the mix and the butter at the end. I have favored my English recipe the most for this end addition. But when I saw that it did not call for the butter, I decided to add it anyway, and I'm glad I did.

I also noted in the previous post that I used vanilla beans because I was out of vanilla extract. I tend to be a bit lazy with four kids underfoot, one having special needs, and most often when baking look for the easy way out and opt for an extract. A good extract though.. my favorite vanilla extracts are Bourbon Vanilla and Madagascar Vanilla. If you read through some of my recipes, you'll notice I often bake with liqueurs and fortified wines, so great to have on hand for intensifying flavors! Some other techniques I think are important to note is sifting the flour. You can push the flour through a fine mesh sieve if you don't have a sifter. If you don't have either, just rub it well between your fingertips to get out all lumps. I also encourage a slow-cook-to-boil rather than a quick-cook-to-boil. You really want the flour to cook out so there is no grittiness. The same as if you were cooking a B├ęchamel Sauce.

So have fun, enjoy, and Buon Appetito!

I also happened to make some chocolate filling. This was nothing to write home about though, I didn't plan on using the filling for the puffs, I just happen to have made some homemade chocolate pudding from a recipe on the cocoa powder can. It was a little to much cocoa flavored for me.. next time I'm going to use Pierre Herme’s chocolate custard recipe.. that I'm sure will be something to write about! :)

Crema di Pasticceria
(pastry cream)

1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise (not vanilla extract)

3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoons butter


In a saucepan on medium heat, combine the milk and the split vanilla bean; cook till it begins to simmer. Watch carefully so your milk doesn’t scald or you will have a skin on top. If you do notice a skin forming, remove it before you are ready to add it to your egg mixture. Turn heat off.

Meanwhile, in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat eggs and sugar together until creamy pale yellow. You can also do this in a medium size stainless steel bowl with a wire whisk, but beat hard and consistently. (This is how I start my Zabaione when making an Italian custard) Next add the flour and beat hard till well incorporated and it has the texture of a thick paste.

Slowly pour hot milk into egg mixture in a very thin stream whisking constantly to prevent curdling. When incorporated, remove vanilla bean. Scrape the seeds from the pod and stir them into the custard mix. Return custard to pan you heated the milk in and place on medium heat till mixture begins to thicken and come to a soft boil. Stir constantly and mix from bottom of pan to prevent custard from scalding. When it begins to come to a slow boil time it for another minute or so.. custard will be a medium consistency. Turn off heat. 
Add the 1 tablespoons of butter and mix well. Scrape the custard into a bowl. Smoothe plastic wrap directly on top of the custard. The first time I read this in directions I was kind of disconcerted thinking I would waste much of the top layer of custard when I pulled it from the top. When refrigerated and cooled, the plastic comes off clean from the top of the custard. No waste! ☺

Look at the richness of this cream and all the beautiful vanilla seeds!

Choux Pastry Puffs
1-cup water
1/2-cup butter (no substitutes)
1-cup all-purpose flour
1/4-teaspoon salt
4 eggs

In a saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil. Add flour and salt all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove puffs to wire racks. Immediately cut a slit in each for steam to escape. Cool. Split puffs and remove soft dough.


MaryMoh said...

My gosh...these look heavenly! The creamy and delicious. I have bookmarked this to try....have to try. Thanks very much for sharing.

The Duo Dishes said...

Love the site layout and colors. It's gorgeous. So are those cream puffs!

Bellini Valli said...

I remember making cream puffs in Home Economics class as a kid...does that date me...wink.

YankeeSoaper said...

Oh boy, you saved a bit just for me Lauire! ;) This is one of my favorite desserts and yours look just scumptious!

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Beautiful!I love the vanilla seeds!

Joanne said...

The blog looks beautiful!

These pastries look infinitely better than the ones I've had at the local Italian bakery...and to think I thought those were good. These must be out of this world!

Sylvia said...

Love the colors on you lay out, Very pretty.
I love cream puffs m but I had the same problem, the most of the custard that I had try are boring . I definitely try yours

Lori Lynn said...

They look perfect!

The new style is awesome, love the colors!

Lynn Richards said...

Laurie, you are KILLING me with those cream puffs!!! OH, YUM!!!
I really love your photo for your header. The cup is gorgeous!!! Makes me want to go make a latte!!
love, Lynn

Marcellina said...

I, too have been making cream puffs for years and never really satisfied with the custard recipe. I know am mine is very similar to your with the flour and cornflour then I flavour it with marsala and amaretto. When cold fold through some whipped cream. Isn't is funny how we search for the ultimate recipe? Talk about obsessed and I love it, don't you?

Megan said...

I love the new look but even more, I love the puffs. Those vanilla seeds just do something to me. They are calling my name!

Juliana said...

Laurie, sure you have perfected cream puffs, I love them filled with custard...great great pictures :-)

Brad said...

Yum they look great thanks.

Jessica {The Novice Chef} said...

This looks fabulous! I am so glad I discovered your blog!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Did I tell you I love your new look? I do! That cream does look lusciously rich!

Mr Mansfield said...

Wow. Thank you so much for going to all the effort to write out this recipe. I've just had dinner, but I'm off to make some custard cream puff thingies!!!


Patty said...

Oh my god these are amazing! Thank you so much for posting the recipe!

Taste of Beirut said...

I have made cream puffs and pastry cream a bunch of times too and I love your recipe!

mike said...

Wow! This is an amazing recipe of cream puff! Thanks for this sharing to us. I have been looking everywhere for a great cream puff recipe, and Im glad I found your blog. It really goes well with a cup of espresso made from my new espresso coffee machine Great post. Kudos!

Laurie said...

I have had it turn out pretty thick before too, but never like spackel.. If it's left on the heat too long it will definitely get too thick. This is supposed to be a thick custard filling. There are many types of custard.. some loose, some Bavarian, some pudding. I was going for the English thick filling. I can understand not appreciating a spackel texture. I will do another test on this in another week or so. Don't forget to add the butter at the end! :)

Claude Sutterlin said...

I think in the new version you forgot to specify the amount of cornstarch!

Laurie said...

Thanks Claude, I actually eliminated it. I'll make sure I update the type! Thank you.. I really do appreciate my readers input! Wish I had more recipe testers at my disposal!! :) Grazie..

Jayvee Tuvida said...

I am so excited to try your pastry cream recipe! Been making puffs and I haven't had any good recipe in making the filling. Can I just ask why did you remove the cornstarch and just added flour itself?

Anonymous said...

This is the best cream puffs ever!!!!!the first time I made this puffs and it was a hit! Thank you so much!

Joyciee said...

How much does this make?

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