Pastry Cream with Black-Pepper Strawberries

Spoon about 3 tablespoons of this strawberry filling into prepared cream puffs to finish off this sensational dessert.

Pastry Cream with Black-Pepper Strawberries
Prep Time:
15 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
15 mins


  • ½ cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 cup half-and-half or light cream

  • ½ of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 4 beaten egg yolks

  • 1 ½ cup chopped fresh strawberries

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 10 Cream Puff Shells *

Cream Puff Shells

  • parchment paper

  • 1 cup water

  • ½ cup butter

  • ¼ teaspoon sugar

  • teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour

  • 4 eggs


  1. In a 1-1/2- or 2-quart heavy saucepan stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in half-and-half. Add vanilla bean, if using. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.

  2. Gradually stir about half the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Return the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove and discard vanilla bean or stir in liquid vanilla, if using. Strain through a sieve. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Cool slightly or refrigerate until serving time. (Do not stir after mixture sets or it may separate and thin.)

  3. One hour before serving, in a small bowl stir together strawberries, sugar, and pepper.

  4. To serve, spoon about 3 tablespoons pastry cream into each puff; spoon in strawberry mixture. Makes about 2 cups pastry cream and 1-1/2 cups strawberries. (10 servings).

Cream Puff Shells

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well with a spoon after each addition.

  2. Drop dough using a 2-tablespoon-capacity ice cream or cookie scoop or by heaping tablespoonsful 3 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a deep golden color and puffs are firm. Transfer puffs to a wire rack; cool completely.

  3. Cut puffs in half; if necessary, remove soft dough from inside. Spoon in filling. Replace tops. Sift powdered sugar over tops. Makes 10 cream puffs.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

300 Calories
19g Fat
25g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 300
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 214mg 71%
Sodium 235mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 12.4mg 62%
Calcium 80.8mg 6%
Iron 1.3mg 7%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.