How to make dairy free custard? Actually it is so easy. The French call it crème pâtissière. I found it in an old French recipe book written by Francoise Bernard. Francoise Bernard was a legendary French food writer and television presenter. She said that cooking is art, and the basis of art is technique. That’s something I can agree with. The recipe for this dairy free vanilla pastry cream wasn’t quite what I wanted, so I made some improvements. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make dairy free custard.
How to serve dairy free custard (crème pâtissière)
Dairy free custard is great for desserts. You can eat it as pudding or use it as a filling. Additionally you can layer cakes such as mille feuille or dairy free birthday cake, or use it as a filling for buns or éclairs. You can adjust the thickness by stirring in flour, and the stiffness by adding vegan butter. If you want a stiffer texture, you should add more vegan butter. If you want a pudding consistency, use less. Dairy free pastry cream is truly versatile component in a baker’s toolbox. Making your own homemade custard is incredibly easy – you need just a few ingredients and about 15 minutes to make it. The technique is very similar to Gluten free Hollandaise sauce.
It’s so simple to make.
Ingredients needed for dairy free custard (vanilla pastry cream)
Milk. We cannot drink whole milk, so we replace it with plant-based milk. I usually use oat milk. Choose your favorite.
Vanilla. Make sure you use quality vanilla. Use either vanilla pods, extract or vanilla bean paste.
Egg yolks. Using egg yolks gives a richer, creamier and more luxurious pastry cream. I always use free range eggs.
Sweetened condensed milk. In this recipe, it gives a perfect sweetness to the pastry cream, that isn’t too overwhelmingly sweet, adds texture and taste.
Flour. This helps to thicken the pastry cream. While some recipes use cornstarch instead, I prefer using organic spelt flour as it is a healthier choice. You can use all-purpose flour.
Butter. The addition of butter makes the pastry cream even richer and creamier. It also helps it to set to the proper texture during cooling. I use vegan butter.
Dairy free custard ingredients
3 free range egg’s yolks
3/4 cup (100 g) organic white spelt flour
1 can (about 400 g) sweetened condensed milk
1 stick (250 g) vegan butter
4 cups + 3 tbsp (1 liter) milk. I use oat milk
A few drops of organic vanilla extract or vanilla pod
1 dash of salt
How to make dairy free custard
- In a saucepan, cook the milk and vanilla until it comes to a boil. At that time, whisk the yolks with an electric hand mixer until they are smooth and a pale, light yellow colour.
- Pour the hot milk using a ladle in a slow, thin stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. If you make this too quickly – you’ll get scrambled eggs. If you want smooth pastry cream, it is necessary to keep stirring. Work like this until you have poured five ladles. Slowly increasing the temperature of the egg yolks and diluting them helps to achieve a perfectly silky-smooth pastry cream.
- Return the mixture to the saucepan.
- Sieve the flour into the milk and cook over medium heat until everything thickens and comes to a boil. Don’t stop stirring. Once the mixture comes to a boil, cook for about 1 minute more. It will take about 3 minutes or so.
- Add vanilla and a pinch of salt.
- Remove the vanilla pastry cream from the heat and add vegan butter. Wait a bit until the butter has melted. Mix everything.
- Add sweetened condensed milk. Stir until you get a smooth mass.
- Transfer the vanilla pastry cream to a bowl. Allow to cool.
How to store dairy free custard – pastry cream?
Keep dairy free pastry cream covered with plastic wrap. Let the plastic wrap touch the top of the pastry cream to avoid the creation of any film on top. Store in the fridge for up to three days. You can also freeze the custard for up to three weeks.
More dessert recipes:
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