Monday 5 July 2021

My Adventure With Pat...

That's Crème Pat [not Postman Pat] I have decided that in retirement I want to improve my cooking skills - making classier desserts, and cooking less familiar vegetables etc. One area which fascinates me is French Patisserie. My MIL was Belgian, and extremely gifted in the kitchen - fortunately [like Bob] my daughters have some of her genes and produce fabulous meals. 

Earlier forays into this part of the kitchen have not been altogether successful - my crème patissiere, and crème anglaise have had lumps, caught on the bottom of the pan, or tasted more like the scrambled egg served at breakfast in a seedy Blackpool B&B. This is entirely due to the way I approach the kitchen. I'm an Essex girl, with Jamie's Bish! Bash! Bosh! style of cooking. I'm usually multitasking, with a boiling saucepan, something burning under the grill, a tap running, and I'm listening the the news, and shouting at the radio, and typing a WhatsApp message.  Slow, steady stirring is not my style.

But I am very determined, so I fished out my Rachel Khoo cookbook [she is less bossy than Julia Childs] and set to, with the egg yolks and milk etc. Bob called to me from the lounge. "No, I cannot be disturbed, I am making crème pat" 

Bob actually left the lounge and came through to be amazed at this vision of loveliness- a woman in her best apron standing still in front of the hob, gentle wielding a wooden spoon, and concentrating on one thing alone - a pan of silky primrose-coloured cream.

I did not have the energy to make pâté sucrée - I put the crème pat into little dishes and decorated it with fresh strawberries.

Bob said it definitely did not taste of scrambled egg, and was very positive. I think I need to work on it a little more - but I am getting there. 

Not so much crème pâtissière so much as crème patience, I think!

Rachel Khoo is married now, and has two young sons. She lives in Scandinavia. Her husband [how cool is this?] is Robert Wiktorin, the celebrated Swedish Chef


  1. Very well done!!!! That is impressive! I'm not very good at devoting my attention to one thing either. Perhaps that is the Essex in me?

  2. This is something that I'd like to start doing this Fall/Winter (it is much too hot here for much cooking or baking during the Summer) but - like you - I have a tendency to multi-task and will have to learn patience.

    I'd like to also practice my pastry making skills - I never knew there were so many types of pastry before The GBBS!

    1. My MIL made all sorts of excellent pastries. I must keep practising

  3. Crème pat is one of my nemesises. (Another one is scones.) so well done there!
    We loved the Rachel Khoo programmes on the TV all those years ago and her croque madame muffins are a favourite of the house.

  4. I had no idea how creme pat is made but my thoughts wandered to my childhood visits to Yorkshire and a time when my aunt sent me and my cousin to a small shop to buy some kind of cream which came in a can with a lid. It wasn't anything refrigerated and I wonder what it was! I know it was needed for some baked item, perhaps to fill a Victoria sandwich.

    1. That sounds like Cornish clotted cream. The best is in my opinion. Most frequently used on scones, with jam

  5. It looks delicious, Angela. Enjoy your experiments in the kitchen! :)


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