Violet Pastry Cream


Spring is finally here and as some of us at Cuisine et Chateau are busy guiding clients on our France tours, others are enjoying the flowers around Calgary. In France, incorporating the natural sweetness and fragrance of flowers into desserts has been going on for centuries, and so we wanted to share with you a recipe that we will be making (and consuming!) while enjoying the French countryside.

A simple pastry cream is a great filling for a fruit tart, and a floral scent goes well with spring strawberries.

If you cannot find a floral extract (rose water and orange blossom water are great) then look for candied flower petals to add to the basic pastry cream recipe, or steep the warm milk and sugar with dried petals from a specialty spice store such as The Silk Road Merchant in Calgary.

Ingredients: 500ml               whole milk 60gr.                sugar #1 2                      egg yolks 1                      egg 35gr.                cornstarch 65gr.                sugar #2 30gr.                butter, unsalted To Taste          drops of violet flower extract

  1. Heat the milk, and sugar #1 in a heavy bottomed saucepan until it comes to a near simmer.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the cornstarch with sugar #2 until well combined, then add the egg and yolks and whisk until light and fluffy.
  3. While whisking constantly, pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Once well combined then pour this back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and strain this back into the bowl, then add the butter and combine until butter is melted and incorporated. Add extract, and combine to taste.
  5. Chill immediately.