If you invite Italians for lunch or dinner, rest assured they'll love these creme patissiere pastry horns! Also this is another dessert that you can make in advance, and that tastes much better if you make it the day before and let chill in the fridge overnight.
Makes about 12 Pastry Horns, and you'll need 12 baking cones (if you only have six, you'll need to bake them in two batches). These are the ones I use:
For the Pastry Horns
Puff Pastry, rectangular, already rolled (a pack of approx. 375g)
Creme Patissiere (see recipe below)
Caster sugar, 2/3 Tbsp
Icing sugar, 2/3 Tbsp
12 Baking Cones
For the Creme Patissiere
Whole milk 500g
Half vanilla pod
Egg yolks 6
Caster sugar 140g
Plain Flour 70g
Pinch of Salt
Start by preparing the Creme Patissiere. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar and a tiny pinch of salt. Sift the plain flour and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
In a saucepan, bring the milk slowly to the boil with the vanilla seeds (scraped from the pod). Allow to cool slightly and remove the vanilla pod.
Gradually pour the hot milk mixture onto the eggy mixture, whisking well.
Return to a clean pan and heat again gently, stirring with a wooden spatula until it starts to thicken. This will take about 5 minutes. When it's thick, transfer the creme patissiere into a clean dish, cover with clingfilm so that there's no air between the creme pat surface and the cling film. This will prevent a skin from forming. Now transfer to the freezer for about 40 minutes and then to the fridge until completely cool. It's always a good idea to chill the creme pat quickly, to avoid the development of germs, which can happen with eggs.
Pre-heat the oven to to 200°C.
Roll out the puff pastry onto your work surface. With a pointed knife cut the puff pastry sheet into about 1cm ribbons. Wind each pastry ribbon around a baking cone, starting at the tip and slightly overlapping along the edge. Repeat for all baking cones. Place the cones on a baking sheet and brush the top of the puff pastry with a little cold water (either with a brush or with your finger tip). Sprinkle with a bit of caster sugar (not too much, otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the tin and will burn and stick when cooking). Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 12 minutes. Then take them out of the oven, very carefully remove the cones and transfer to the oven again for about 5 minutes, so that they cook well inside. I like the horns crispy and golden, but if you like them pale, then don't cook them for less time.
Allow to cool then carefully remove the cones.
Let cool on a wire rack completely before filling them with the pastry cream. Transfer the chilled creme pat into a piping bag and fill the pastry horns. Dust with icing sugar.
Transfer to the fridge (in an air tight container/storage tin).
Best if made the day before and let rest in the fridge overnight.