French Fridays with Dorie: Pastry Blues and Almond Pastry Cream

Pull up a chair and grab a drink.  I hope you are in the mood for the blues… the pastry blues.

Cracked Tart Shell and toppings for Almond Pastry Cream

Lady placed a tart ’round her French table.
Another tried the same but wasn’t able.
One more messed up tart shell…
Nothing you haven’t heard before.
But I’m skipping pie recipes
’til I find good crust at the store

She made the cooked butter crust with a grin.
She baked it and saw it was spread too thin.
One more messed up tart shell…
Nothing you haven’t heard before.
But I’m skipping pie recipes
’til I find good crust at the store

To keep up with the week’s FFwD theme:
Tart pieces topped with almond pastry cream
One more messed up tart shell…
Nothing you haven’t heard before.
But I’m skipping pie recipes
’til I find good crust at the store

Cracked Pastry with Almond Pastry Cream

Almond Pastry Cream

By Adriana A Published: October 18, 2013

  • Yield: 1 cup (4 Servings)

In lieu of a caramel custard with quiche like properties, I made the eggiest of custards: pastry cream. To finish off these... tart nachos (?) I topped the pastry cream with caramel sauce and toasted almond slices.

This scaled back recipe makes the most of the ingredients I had on hand - the actual heavy cream from the original recipe and 2% milk.



  1. Bring the cream and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat

  2. Meanwhile, whisk together in a bowl the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until thickened and well blended.

  3. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and lower the burner temperature to medium low. Add about two tablespoons of milk/cream into the bowl with the egg yolks and whisk together.

  4. Add the rest of the milk slowly, mixing it well with the sweetened yolks. Return the custard to the saucepan and cook until thickened, stirring continuously with a wood spoon.

  5. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Let the custard stand for five minutes, and whisk in the butter bits until the cream is smooth and glossy. Cool in the refrigerator until it is ready to use.

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French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group where we work our way (or try to!) through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  You will find my friends’ versions of this week’s recipe, caramel-almond custard tart, here.

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Author:Adriana A

Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

25 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie: Pastry Blues and Almond Pastry Cream”

  1. October 18, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    You did a great job with this, considering. I actually find that pastry really problematic to work with – too crumbly (wish I had used a whole egg instead of just the yolk now) and you know, when you don’t actually bake the pastry first, it’s even worse. I think you did a good save here!

  2. October 18, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    Aw, so sorry about the crust fiasco, Adriana! But your pastry cream nibbles look divine!!!

    • October 18, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      There was no way to go wrong with caramel and almonds. I loved the combination.

  3. October 18, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Tart nachos :-)
    Great save, poetess!

  4. October 18, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    You’re following in Trevor’s footsteps with the poetry. We’re going to come to expect a blues rhyme weekly. I’m sorry that you had such a hard time with the pastry dough. I find this one to work every time (though I’ve given up on Dorie’s regular tart crust). Not sure what to recommend to do differently. I’d like to be served dessert nachos though.

    • October 18, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Tart dough really bums me. I hope no other recipes/techniques make me want to write a bluesy rhyme. ;-)

  5. October 18, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    You mean you’re not perfect?

    Seriously, I think it’s important for us to share what went wrong as well so we can all learn from each other. I’m sure I could eat your Almond Pastry Cream with nothing other than a spoon – it looks delicious.

    Have a lovely weekend!

    • October 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      Martha Stewart cannot accuse this blogger of not recipe testing ;-)
      Have a great weekend, as well, Susan.

  6. October 18, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Loved the poem…sorry it’s a poem about the blues! I have been there! This crust recipe is not quite right…it really needs more moisture…I used 2 tablespoons of cream along with my egg yolk…you could also use a whole egg. I have had problems with it in the past. Great post and great save! What does Martha Stewart know anyway…lol? Have a great weekend, Adriana!

  7. October 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    OK seriously- that crust looks amazing. Reminds me of that cookie thing we made a long while back ….salted butter break ups or something. I put mine on the kitchen island and the whole family stood there scarfing it down. If my crust looked like this I would have enjoyed it by myself in the kitchen with a big cuppa java :) But boy did you make the finished product look amazing. You plated it like we were in a fancy restaurant – well play !! And in awe that you also managed to knock out the poem. PS- Urban Oasis done. Fingers crossed ONE of us gets that place :)

    • October 19, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

      Call me when the HGTV cameras park in front of your house! :-)

  8. October 18, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    I think your tart pastry looks good but the amount for our recipe is not sufficient for this tart pan you used, the narrow long one which is probably half the width should work out well.

    But hey, look at that awesome combo in that last picture ~ FAB ~ you created a lovely dish!

    • October 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

      That’s completely true! Next time I’m doubling the tart dough recipe no matter what.

  9. October 18, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    When life gives you lemons…eh…pieces, make nachos. Love that idea. Very creative!

  10. October 19, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Troubles with dough are one of reasons I am not a big fan of baking… so sorry I can truly relate have been there… one too many times. Your custard looks great and your poetry… fun, we will have to Trevor thinks.

  11. October 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    How frustrating! :)

    But your pastry cream sounds delicious and your poem is fantastic! Have a great weekend!

  12. October 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Adriana, although I do feel sorry about the little pastry fiasco, i must say that the little “tart nachos” with the lovely Almond Cream and toasted almonds look very cute – my kids would have loved these, I am quite sure. And I love it when peolple are able to save the day and come up with alternatives, very creative indeed! And, of course, your writing is wonderful!
    Have a great weekend!

  13. October 19, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    You are very clever Adriana! A poem and a lovely dessert seized from the jaws of defeat! While the tart was very delicious your concoction looks quite original! I have also found that crust a hard one to work with. Don’t tell on me but I used a Pilsbury refrigerator crust for this one:)

    • October 21, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

      Your secret is safe with… all of us! ;-)

  14. Mary Hirsch
    October 20, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    What I have to say, Adriana, is that if Dorie sees this tasty little almond pastry cream morsel, she might consider it for a Bonne Idea or an entirely new recipe. It looks pretty darn delicious to me. Bottom line is not how it looks but how it tastes. Good improvising.

  15. October 21, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    How very dare everyone for not telling me you had resorted to poetry over this assignment! I have to agree with those who think that as far as kitchen disasters go this one at least left you with some tasty treats! Very clever. Tart nachos indeed!

    • October 21, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

      Bad things happen when the rhyming dictionary comes out during an early morning 1960’s blues binge. The botched recipe was the catalyst… :-)

  16. October 22, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    Love the lyrics! Your tart looks highly delish anyway.

  17. October 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    Well, the tart may not have turned out, but you still delivered a killer post. Good save! And I can well understand your frustration with pie crust. I’ve had so many bomb that I’ve lost count.

  18. October 29, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Love the poem! I can (and have) eaten almond pastry cream by the spoonful. It doesn’t need a crust at all :-)

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