When you want to serve a special dessert that will knock their socks off, but also one you can make ahead and assemble later, this recipe for Special Occasion No-Bake Eggnog Pastry Cream Filled Croissants is for you!
In the open, I called this a dessert. But if truth be told I came up with this recipe idea for No-Bake Eggnog Pastry Cream Filled Croissants last Christmas and served them for our annual Christmas brunch, not a dessert. However, this year when I made them again, I served them for dessert. Whichever way you decide to serve them is up to you. The important thing is that you do!
I’ve waited an entire year to share my recipe for Special Occasion Eggnog Pastry Cream Filled Croissants with you, and the time is finally here! Horray!! To make this spectacularly special, yet easy dish you’ll need, eggnog, whole milk, egg yolks, granulated sugar, flour, cornstarch, nutmeg, salt, vanilla, heavy whipping cream, sliced strawberries, store-bought croissants, red and green candied cherries (optional), and confectioners sugar.
If you’ve never made your own pastry cream because you think it may be difficult, I hope I can take away your misconceptions and show you just how easy it is to make. In addition to it being easy to make, you can even prepare it up to 2 days in advance and then store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. Really. It could not be easier!
Here is the easy process of making Eggnog Pastry Cream. Store-bought eggnog works just fine as long as you doctor it up with a light touch of nutmeg.
Divide 4 eggs, saving the egg whites for another use. Place the yolks in a medium bowl along with the sugar. Meanwhile, heat the eggnog and milk to a simmer in a saucepan over medium/high heat.
Whisk the flour and cornstarch into the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Add the nutmeg, salt, and vanilla to the egg yolks.
Stir the egg yolk mixture well to combine. Slowly pour approximately 1 cup of the heated eggnog/milk mixture into the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Once the 1 cup of the heated milk mixture is combined with the egg yolk mixture, slowly pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining heated milk/egg yolk mixture. *Note – this is called “tempering” so the egg yolks can slowly increase in temperature making sure they do not scramble when added to the warm milk mixture.
Cook the pastry cream over a low heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens into a thick cream. Remove the pastry cream from the heat and cool slightly before passing the eggnog pastry cream through a sieve to strain out any lumps. Once the pastry cream has completely cooled, place a bit of plastic wrap directly on the top of the pastry cream (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate for up to two days.
The next steps for filling the croissants with the eggnog pastry cream couldn’t be easier. You can either use store-bought whipped topping to mix with the eggnog pastry cream, or you can make your own whipped cream using heavy whipping cream, a little sugar, and some vanilla extract.
Here are the remaining easy steps to complete these Special Occasion Eggnog Pastry Cream Filled Croissants.
Cut approximately twelve strawberries into ¼” slices. Add cold, heavy whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand mixer), and whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the whipped cream and stir to combine.
Add the eggnog pastry cream to the whipped cream and fold gently to combine. Use a serrated knife to slice 6 large croissants in half.
Place the croissant bottoms in a 9″ x 13″ pan. Top the croissant bottoms with the eggnog pastry cream mixture. Top evenly with the sliced strawberries.
Use a paring knife to cut the glazed candied cherries in half. Place the top half of the croissants on the pastry cream and strawberry filling and place the halved candied cherries on top. Sprinkle the entire top evenly with confectioners sugar and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To make the EGGNOG PASTRY CREAM:
- 1 cup eggnog
- 1 cup milk not skim
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- To make the WHIPPED CREAM:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 large butter croissants sliced in half
- 12 - 14 large strawberries sliced into ¼" slices
- red and green candied glazed cherries optional
- confectioners sugar
To make the EGGNOG PASTRY CREAM:
In a medium saucepan, bring the eggnog and milk to a simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in the flour, cornstarch nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.
Slowly pour approximately 1 cup of the heated eggnog mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
Once the cup of heated eggnog is incorporated into the egg yolk mixture, slowly pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining heated eggnog mixture.
Continue cooking the mixture in the saucepan over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove the pan from the stovetop and allow to cool slightly before straining the pastry cream through a sieve to remove any lumps.
Allow the pastry cream to cool completely on the counter and then place a piece of plastic directly on top of the pastry cream before refrigerating. *Note - This pastry cream may be made up to two days in advance of assembling the recipe.
To make the WHIPPED CREAM:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks form.
Stir in the granulated sugar and vanilla.
To make and fill the EGGNOG PASTRY CREAM FILLED CROISSANTS:
Using a light hand, gently fold the eggnog pastry cream in with the heavy whipping cream making sure to keep the mixture as light and fluffy as possible.
Place the bottom of the sliced croissants in a 9" x 13" dish.
Top the bottom layer of the croissants evenly with the eggnog pastry cream and layer with the sliced strawberries.
Place the tops of the croissants in place over the pastry cream and garnish with the sliced candied cherries (optional).
Sprinkle the top evenly with a light dusting of confectioners sugar.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tools and equipment:
hand mixer or stand mixer
9" x 13" casserole dish
One of these days, I promise, I’m going to attempt making my own puff pastry and make homemade croissants. It’s going to have to be when I have plenty of time on my hands, plenty of patience, and plenty of BUTTER!
But until that time comes, I’m happy to utilize the grocery store’s convenience products like puff pastry sheets and mini phyllo cups. Here are a few recipes (from sweet to savory) that I’ve shared over the years using these type of products. By clicking on the recipe title, you’ll be taken directly to that particular recipe selection (it will open in a new window) to view the ingredient list and print out the instructions.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe for Special Occasion No-Bake Eggnog Pastry Cream Filled Croissants as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you. Should you have any questions for me regarding this recipe, or anything else you see on my site, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly or leave me a comment in the comment section below. It is always my great pleasure to get back to you with my reply just as soon as possible.
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Kudos Kitchen by Renée ~ Where food, art, and fun collide each and every day!
Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!