As a vegan chef, one of my favorite ingredients to work with is pastry cream. It’s versatile, delicious, and can be used in a wide range of desserts. However, traditional pastry cream is made with dairy products, making it off-limits for those following a plant-based diet. That’s why I’ve developed a vegan pastry cream recipe that is rich, creamy, and completely dairy-free.
This recipe has been years in the making, and I’m excited to finally share it with you. Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or simply looking to reduce your consumption of animal products, this recipe is for you.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of making vegan pastry cream from scratch. I’ll also share tips on ingredient substitutions and variations so you can customize the recipe to your liking. Plus, I’ll provide serving suggestions and recommendations for storing and reheating leftovers.
So get ready to indulge in the luxurious taste of pastry cream without any animal products. Trust me when I say that once you try this recipe, you won’t miss traditional dairy-based pastry cream at all.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This vegan pastry cream recipe is the perfect dessert for anyone who loves creamy, luscious, and smooth treats. It’s a recipe that everyone will love and appreciate, even those who are not vegan. Let me tell you why.
Firstly, the ingredient list is simple and easy to find. You don’t have to go hunting around for exotic ingredients or special milk substitutes. The components include flour, coconut milk or soy milk, sugar, vanilla bean or extract, salt, and lemon zest, which are all readily available at most grocery stores.
Secondly, this recipe is versatile and adaptable to your needs. You can easily make substitutions or variations to the recipe based on what you have available in your pantry or dietary preferences. For example, if you prefer a gluten-free option, you can use cornstarch or chickpea flour instead of the regular flour. If you’re avoiding dairy altogether, non-dairy plant-based milks like almond or unsweetened soymilk work as great substitutes.
Thirdly, this recipe yields a lovely and velvety texture that’s perfect for many desserts. Whether it’s used for filling cakes or pastries such as cream puffs, Napoleon cakes or mille-feuille, this vegan pastry cream brings forth an exciting twist with its subtle notes of lemon zest and tang of lemon juice.
Lastly (but definitely not least), this pastry cream recipe produces a rich and indulgent taste without sacrificing your health because of its plant-based nature. Vegan pastry cream is lower in calories compared to traditional pastry cream recipes made with dairy products. Plant-based milk used in the recipe means you won’t be consuming cholesterol or saturated fat present in dairy products.
In summary – with its ease of preparation, versatility in substitutions for various dietary preferences or restrictions coupled with its sumptuous and indulgent flavor profile at significantly less calorie intake than traditional pastry creams makes it perfect for any occasion!
Here are the ingredients you need for this vegan pastry cream recipe:
The Dry Ingredients
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- A pinch of salt
The Wet Ingredients
- 2 cups unsweetened soy milk or almond milk
- 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp vegan butter
- 4 cups plant-based cream: coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, or any other dairy-free alternative
- 250 g granulated sugar
- 30 g cornstarch
- 50 gr potato starch
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- A pinch of turmeric
You can use any of the plant-based milk alternatives to make vegan pastry cream. Try using full-fat coconut milk for an extra creamy texture. You can find potato starch and turmeric at most grocery stores or online. These ingredients help give the vegan pastry cream a more vivid yellow color and egg-like flavor.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have gathered all the necessary ingredients, it’s time to whip up the vegan pastry cream. It’s a simple recipe that requires only a few steps.
Step 1: Preparing Vanilla Bean
First, cut one vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds and pod into a saucepan.
Step 2: Making Pastry Cream Base
Next, add 2 cups of soy milk into the saucepan with the vanilla bean. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then, remove from heat and let it infuse for about 10 minutes.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup of cornstarch.
Step 3: Combining Both Mixtures
Remove the vanilla pod from the soy milk mixture and pour it slowly into the mixing bowl with sugar mixture, whisking constantly until everything is incorporated.
Pour in this combined mixture back into the saucepan, stirring over low heat until the cream thickens. Make sure to keep stirring it until smooth and creamy consistently without any lumps or burning for about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Adding Flavor
Add in 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and a pinch of turmeric for color. Continue stirring until you obtain a silky smooth consistency.
Step 5: Cooling It Down
Finally, pour your vegan pastry cream into a shallow dish, cover with plastic wrap (make sure it touches the surface), and place it in fridge to allow it to cool completely before using it in pastries or desserts as preferred.
Congratulations! You’ve made your own vegan pastry cream from scratch that can be used for any dessert recipes that call for traditional pastry creams.
Substitutions and Variations
As versatile as pastry cream is, it’s great to have options should you need to make substitutions. Here are some different ingredients you can use and variations you can experiment with to switch things up a bit:
– Milk: Instead of soy milk or coconut milk, try using almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, or even a combination of two different plant-based milks. You can also use dairy milk if you’re not vegan.
– Starch: Cornstarch is the most commonly used starch in pastry cream, but you can substitute it with arrowroot powder or potato starch. You can also try using chickpea flour or gluten-free flour for a wheat-free version.
– Sugar: Cane sugar is typically used in pastry cream recipes, but you can swap it with coconut sugar or brown sugar for a more caramel-like flavor. Maple syrup and agave nectar are other options to consider.
– Vanilla: Vanilla extract is convenient and easy to find, but using a vanilla bean will give your pastry cream an authentic and richer vanilla flavor. You could also add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg for extra depth of flavor.
– Lemon: A touch of lemon zest or lemon juice can brighten up your pastry cream’s flavor profile, especially if it’s too sweet.
These are just some ideas to get you started. Feel free to experiment and see what works best for your taste preferences and dietary needs.
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving vegan pastry cream, the options are endless. This creamy and luxurious dessert can be enjoyed on its own or as a filling in a range of pastries like cream puffs, mille feuille, and even in a decadent napoleon cake.
For a simple yet elegant presentation, serve it in individual ramekins and top with fresh fruit like strawberries, raspberries, or peaches. You can also add a sprinkle of cinnamon or grated chocolate for added flavor.
If you’re feeling particularly creative, why not layer your pastry cream with cocoa powder to create a delicious vegan chocolate pastry? This will be sure to impress even the fussiest of eaters.
For a lighter dessert option, pair your pastry cream with freshly baked vegan sponge cake or shortbread cookies. The creamy texture of the vegan custard is well suited to the soft crumbly texture of these baked goods.
Lastly, for those who love a bit of contrast in their desserts, try pairing your vegan pastry cream with tangy fruit such as passionfruit or kiwi. The tartness of the fruit complements the sweet and creamy flavor of the custard perfectly.
In conclusion, there is no wrong way to serve and pair this indulgent vegan pastry cream recipe. Get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your perfect match.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
As someone who loves meal prep, I am thrilled to share some tips for making this Vegan Pastry Cream recipe ahead of time, storing it properly and reheating it to perfection.
To make ahead, simply cook the pastry cream as per the recipe instructions, let it cool and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I recommend whisking the chilled pastry cream briefly before serving, to ensure a smooth and creamy texture.
If you need to store the pastry cream for longer than 3 days, you can also freeze it. Simply place the cooled pastry cream in a freezer-safe container with enough space for expansion, and keep it frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, move the pastry cream into the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight. Then whisk well before using.
When reheating pastry cream, remember that it can easily curdle or become lumpy if heated too fast or at too high temperatures. To avoid this, take your time and use low heat. Warm the desired amount of pastry cream gradually on the stovetop or in the microwave (in short bursts of 15-20 seconds) while whisking constantly.
Another tip is to add a splash of unsweetened soy milk or almond milk while reheating, to thin out the consistency and bring back its creamy texture.
With these tips, you can easily enjoy this delicious Vegan Pastry Cream recipe anytime you want, without compromising on quality or taste.
Tips for Perfect Results
As a vegan chef, I have practiced and learned some crucial tips to achieve the perfect pastry cream consistency. Here are some valuable tips that will guide you in creating an excellent Vegan Pastry Cream Recipe.
First things first, always use quality ingredients to make your vegan pastry cream. Use organic ingredients like soy milk or almond milk to enhance the flavor and create a luscious dessert. Additionally, the type of milk used can change the thickness and consistency of the pastry cream. Full-fat coconut milk will produce a thicker texture, while unsweetened soy milk will create a more delicate taste.
When cooking the pastry cream, it is essential to cook it on low heat to avoid burning it. Make sure to whisk consistently to prevent any lumps from forming. Unwanted lumps in your pastry cream can impact its texture and appearance.
It is normal for the pastry cream to have a sweet taste. However, adding too much sugar can throw off the balance of flavors in your dessert. To prevent this from happening, use precise measurements of sugar and adjust accordingly based on your taste preference.
To achieve a creamy consistency in your vegan pastry cream recipe without eggs, use cornstarch instead. Cornstarch is a powerful thickening agent that will help you make delicious vegan pastry cream without eggs.
Finally, when flavoring your pastry cream recipe with vanilla extract, add it at the very end of cooking time to get the most out of its natural aroma and flavor profile. You may also include lemon zest or lemon juice for added acidity.
In summary, using quality ingredients, low heat, consistent whisking, precise sugar measurement, cornstarch as a thickening agent, and flavor extracts at the end of cooking time are all essential components in making a perfect Vegan Pastry Cream Recipe.
In conclusion, this vegan pastry cream recipe is an excellent and delicious way to indulge in a plant-based lifestyle without missing out on classic comfort foods. Not only is it easy to make, but it also offers a fantastic alternative to dairy-based pastry cream, perfect for people with lactose intolerance or those who prefer a vegan diet.
By using simple and affordable ingredients and following the step-by-step instructions and tips listed in this article, you can make your own creamy and flavorful vegan pastry cream that works great as a filling in cakes, tarts, or served as a custard-style dessert.
So why not give this recipe a try and enjoy the sweet and tangy notes of vanilla and lemon zest infused with creamy coconut or almond milk? Whether you want to impress your guests or satisfy your sweet tooth cravings, this vegan pastry cream recipe will definitely become your go-to recipe for any dessert occasion.
Vegan Pastry Cream Recipe
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 cups soymilk (or other non-dairy milk of choice)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- In a small bowl, place the flour and whisk in 1/2 cups soy milk, and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, place the remaining soy milk, sugar, and salt, and whisk to combine Add the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and whisk well to combine.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, while whisking constantly, for 5-6 minutes or until thickened Add the remaining ingredients, whisk well to combine, and cook the mixture an additional 1 minute Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a glass bowl.
- Place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming on the top Place the pastry cream in the refrigerator for several hours to cool completely.
Add Your Own Notes
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Jolo is a talented chef and food blogger with a passion for vegan and Caribbean flavors. From savory vegetarian dishes to tropical smoothies, Jolo’s Kitchen has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for meat-free meals or creative Caribbean recipes, Jolo’s Kitchen is the perfect place for you.