A sweet bread shaped into a crown and filled with the easiest-to-make pastry cream.
1/2 recipe Easter bread
For the pastry cream:
- 1 cup (240g) whole milk
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
- 4 tablespoons (30g) cornstarch
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon (15g) butter, room tº
For the dough:
- Have ready a buttered ceramic 8-inch pie plate.
- Follow the instructions until the dough has doubled in the greased bowl.
- Gently punch the dough down and put it on a lightly floured counter.
- Flatten it into a disk as you would a pizza, pushing it gently outwards with your fingers, forming a circle. If it refuses to stretch let it rest for a few minutes and try again.
- You should have a circle about 2-3 inches larger than the pie plate you’re using.
- Carefully transfer the dough to the pie plate, covering bottom and sides and letting the extra dough hang.
- Fold the hanging dough onto the inside of the plate and crimp it a bit so it sticks. It will be rustic and not perfect. At least that’s my experience.
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until slightly puffy, about 30 minutes.
- Have the oven preheated at 350ºF /180ºC
- Press your fingertips onto the bottom of the dough, like you would a focaccia dough.
- You can brush the sides of the dough with an egg beaten with a tablespoon of milk if you like a shiny dough; I leave it as it is.
- Put between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of vanilla pastry cream inside and bake for about 40 minutes, until it turns golden and puffs.
- The pastry cream will have cooked a bit but not much.
- Let cool completely.
For the pastry cream:
- Put all ingredients except butter and vanilla in a large glass bowl.
- Mix and heat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Whisk it and return another 30 seconds.
- The first 2-3 times it is still very liquid.
- But then it will have cooked a bit. Whisk it well until no lumps remain. It should be very creamy.
- Heat it in spurts of 10-15 seconds now, whisking very well each time.
- Stop when the cream has thickened.
- Add the butter and vanilla and whisk until it is melted.
- Immediately put a piece of plastic wrap on top, touching the entire surface. This prevents a thick layer from forming.
- Keep refrigerated. Can be made 2 days ahead.
- I like to serve it directly from the pie plate, that’s why I use a ceramic one because I like to add a lot of pastry cream.
If you're making 2 crowns and using the whole of the Easter bread recipe, be sure to double the amount of pastry cream.
I like to serve it in the pie plate, but if you want to unmold it use a springform pan with a removable bottom and only 1 cup pastry cream. Otherwise, you run the risk of the bottom being too weak to contain the cream when it's unmolded.