Crème Opéra

Serve 8 to 10 people.

4 whole eggs
8 egg yolks
4 cups milk boiled
1/2 cup sugar + 2 Tbsps
1 vanilla bean


1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water

  • Make caramel by boiling water and sugar together until golden brown.
  • Pour into a 8 cup ring mold and tilt the mold to coat the sides.


1 cup of whipping cream
5 or 6 meringues, crushed
1 lb of large strawberries, sliced and macerated in rum

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Warm the milk with the vanilla bean and leave to infuse for ?? hour.
  • Beat eggs and egg yolks lightly with the sugar
  • Add milk and strain, if necessary, into the caramel lined mold
  • Cook at 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes (bain marie).
  • Cool completely, preferably overnight.
  • Turn the custard into a serving dish.
  • Whisk the cream until stiff and place half in a pastry bag with a small rosette tube.
  • Fold the crushed meringues into the remaining cream and put in the center of the custard.
  • Decorate with fresh strawberries and pipe stars of cream over the meringue and cream mixture.
  • Serve very cold.

Gratin dauphinois

Ingredients to serve 8 people:

3 lb of potatoes (about 8 or 9 large potatoes)
2 cups of milk
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
2 Tbsp of butter
3 cloves of garlic crushed
Bouquet garnis (bay leaf, thyme, parsley)
1 cup of crème fraîche
1 cup Swiss cheese

  • Peel and clean the potatoes.
  • Cut them into thick slices.
  • In a large pan melt the butter and slightly cook the garlic in it.
  • Add the potatoes.
  • Put in the bouquet garnis, salt, and pepper.
  • Cover and cook gently for 5 to 10 minutes
  • In the meantime heat the milk and add a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Pour the hot milk on the potatoes and cook slowly for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are barely tender.
  • Discard the bouquet garnis.
  • Take 2 oven-proof dishes and put 1/4 cup of crême fraiche at the bottom of each dish.
  • With a slotted spoon divide the potatoes between the 2 dishes.
  • Divide the remaining milk between the two dishes.
  • Divide the rest of the crème fraîche on top of each dish and sprinkle the cheese on both.
  • Put in the oven at 375°F until brown on top (about 15 to 20 minutes).

Pie filling

Filling – with crème fraîche

This should be prepared in advance, as it takes 6 hours (or overnight) for the crème fraîche to form.

3/4 to 1 cup of crème fraîche
3 egg yolks
1-2 Tbsp of sugar

Crème fraîche

1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Combine the sour cream and heavy whipping cream, and put in a warm location until it thickens (for example, in the oven with the oven light on).

Pie Filling

  • Combine the crème fraîche gently with the egg yolks and sugar.
  • Put a thin layer in pie crust and cook until set.
  • Fill the crust with the rest of the crème fraîche mixture and lay the fruit in it.
  • Cook at 375°F for 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the fruit.

Filling – a lighter alternative

2 eggs
2 cups of milk
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla

  • Because this custard filling is less thick than the one made with crème fraîche, it may not set as thoroughly. 
  • This may cause the pie crust to become soggy when cooking.
  • In order to protect the crust, while it is warm it can be glazed with an apricot or currant jelly. 
  • Certain fruits (like blueberries) can also be lightly coated with flour to absorb some of the excess moisture.
  • Continue this recipe as above.

Crème St. Honoré

This is a crème patissiere with almonds.

1-2/3 cups milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of flour
1 cup of whipping cream & 2 Tbsp of sugar

  • Scald the milk, add vanilla
  • Meanwhile stir egg yolks and gradually add sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
  • Add the flour.
  • Slowly add the hot milk, stirring constantly.
  • Pour in a saucepan and bring slowly to boiling.
  • Work very fast to avoid lumps.

Crème patissière

Assemble and measure all ingredients before starting.  Work quickly.

For one cup (about 40 puffs)

1-1/2 Tbsp of all purpose flour
1-1/2 Tbsp of cornstarch
1/3 cup of sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp of butter
1 cup of milk
1 Tbsp of rum or Cognac

For 4 cups (160 puffs)

6 Tbsp of all purpose flour
6 Tbsp of cornstarch
1-1/3 cup of sugar
8 large egg yolks
8 Tbsp of butter
4 cups of milk
4 Tbsp of rum or Cognac 

  • Sift flour in 2 quart mixing bowl.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk slightly with a fork.
  • Knead 2 Tbsp of butter with the heel of your hand and reserve.
  • In a 2 1/2 quart saucepan bring the milk to a boil.
  • Pour half the milk in the flour bowl and beat quickly until smooth.
  • Add the egg and blend well.
  • Pour this mixture into the remaining milk.
  • Bring back to the boil if necessary.
  • Cook for 30 seconds or until thick.
  • Cool by putting bottom of pan in cold water, continue beating.
  • When just warm, add rum.
  • Whisk in the butter and mix until incorporated.
  • Cover and refrigerate.

Crème anglaise

1 1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla
4 egg yolks
3 Tbsp of sugar

  • Warm the milk in a small pan and add the vanilla.
  • Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and mix until lemon colored.
  • Add the milk gradually while mixing well.
  • Pour back into the pan and cook gently, stirring all the time until the crème anglaise coats the spoon.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Cover and refrigerate.