I have been seeing pictures of fruit fraisiers popping up all over the internet for a while now, and every time I do I say, “Yes! I must make one of those!” and then, well, then…I chicken out. You see, pastry cream and I have not always been the best of friends, I suppose this comes from the fact that I have never had central air/heating and so my pastry cream turns to mush before my very eyes (damn need for temperature control!) And being a vegetarian, enforcing my pastry cream with gelatin is not an option and so, I had to find another way.
This lead to my experimenting with agar. Yes, I mean EXERIMENTing, I had no idea what I was doing folks. Now, let me tell you about the failures! I had one batch of pastry cream that more like playdough than cream, and one that was downright rubbery and chewy–yuck, but eventually I found a recipe that worked–it held-but not too much, it was creamy (not chewy) and didn’t mush! Yay no mushy!