The perfect accompaniment to summer strawberries. Diplomat Cream or crème diplomat is crème patissiere or custard lightened with whipped cream. It is glorious on its own or used as pie fillings or in trifles.
I really miss the Food Network. When we lived in the States, it was always on when I was cooking or being lazy on a Saturday morning. We get about five channels in English and with the time change it is usually just infomercials, so we rely on Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes to watch American shows. Ava and I got sucked into the Spring Baking Championship and binged the whole season in a day.
I had never heard of Diplomat Cream before, but I felt like I heard them talk about it or make it in every episode. Turns out it is just vanilla pastry cream (also called Creme Patissiere, creme pat, custard, or wait for it… vanilla pudding) lightened with whipped cream. I’ve been missing out, Diplomat Cream is heaven.
This is essentially two recipes in one. First, you need to make the custard or pastry cream. If you can make this, you can make a million different things. You can easily flavor it, add chocolate, caramel, pistachio and it is completely different. This is what you will find in an eclair, banana cream pie, or a Boston Cream doughnut. It is incredibly versatile, and something that is really useful to be able to know how to make.
To make it Diplomat Cream, you fold whipped cream into the pastry cream and it is a new thing entirely. I like to whip cream by hand. It’s oddly satisfying to me, I feel so domestic goddess-y. I had a job in college and we had to whip cream by hand multiple times a night in a kitchen that was 90 degrees.
One time, my mom was at my house and I was serving whipped cream and she asked me if I whipped it by hand. I said no, and she gently reminded me that my sister whips her cream by hand. Well, now I whip it by hand. Not all the time, but most of the time. Thanks, mom for the sisterly competition.
Pro tip // Put your bowl and whisk in the freezer for a few minutes before you pour the cream in. And make sure the cream is very cold. A big, light whisk also will help you get a lot of air compared to a heavy, tight whisk.
What do you do with it? Well, you can just dip strawberries in it. Use it as a trifle filling. Use it to fill a cream pie. Pipe it on a cupcake. Use it in a strawberry shortcake. Eat it from the bowl with a spoon. The possibilities are endless.
Pastry Cream, Custard, or Creme Patissiere //
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon flour
4 egg yolks
4 Tablespoons butter
To make Diplomat Cream //
2 cups heavy cream, cold
Add 2 1/2 cups milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean or paste to a medium saucepan.
Heat over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
Add cornstarch, flour, egg yolks, and remaining 1/2 cup milk to a large bowl. A large pitcher is a perfect tool for the job. This recipe involves some pouring, so it is less mess.
Whisk the yolk mixture until combined.
When the cream mixture is hot, ladle into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. This will temper the eggs and you will avoid having scrambled eggs.
Slowly add in the rest of the hot cream.
Pour it all back into the saucepan.
Return to medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
When it starts to bubble, cook for an additional 30 seconds. It may look like it going to curdle, but keep stirring, it will all work out, I promise.
Pour through a sieve to get out any little pieces of cooked egg, and to ensure a super smooth creme pat.
Add the butter and vanilla extract if you are using that.
Stir until silky and smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap that touches the surface of the custard. This will keep it from getting a film. Let cool a bit, then put in the fridge to chill.
Now that we have the custard or creme patisserie part finished, we can make the diplomat cream.
Whip the cold heavy cream to medium peaks. I like to do it by hand, but you can use a mixer.
Fold a few spoonfuls of the custard into the cream.
Gradually add the rest of the custard, being careful to not knock the air out.
You can make the custard or creme patissiere ahead of time, it will keep for a few days in an airtight container in the fridge. However, I would not add the whipped cream until you were ready to serve it. It is best served immediately.
See how I used this incredible Diplomat cream in my recipe Strawberries and Custard Cream. A delicious no-bake dessert perfect for strawberry season.
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