Fruit Boats with Pastry Cream

Glorify Fresh Fruit with Easy Pastry Cream

Pastry cream is a French base for making fruit tarts. Unlike whipped cream it is a thickened pudding that will hold up so you can prepare ahead and keep refrigerated to just before serving. It is a beautiful act to slice fruit showboats in front of your guests.

INGREDIENTS FOR PASTRY CREAM: Makes 2 Cups — Vegan is Superb

  • flour – 1/3 cup
  • milk – 1-1/3 cups, or non-dairy milk [coconut milk]
  • maple syrup – 1/4 cup, or sugar 
  • salt – 1/4 tsp 
  • vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp 
  • rum – 2 tsp, or 1/2 tsp more vanilla


  1. In a small pot add the flour and a 1/3 cup of milk and stir thoroughly. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and over medium heat bring to a simmer while continuously stirring until it thickens like loose taffy; 3-5 minutes.
  3. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap that actually touches the cream. Slice a few cuts in the plastic wrap to allow the steam to escape. Refrigerate until cool; about 30 minutes. 
  4. When ready to use whisk until creamy, add a TBS or more of milk to loosen and make pudding like. 


This dish is designed for melons, papayas, or any fruit that can be hollowed and filled with pastry cream. Use one half of the fruit as the showboat, and dice the remaining half to top off the pastry cream.


  1. Peel the papaya and then halve it through the poles.
  2. Remove the seeds and then to one of the halves slice a thin piece off the bottom so it lies stably on a serving platter. You may want to scoop out additional papaya to create enough space for the cream.
  3. Slice the other papaya half into tiny dice.
  4. Pour and carefully spread the pastry cream into the papaya until almost filled. Spoon the diced papaya and pat down slightly. Cover with plastic wrap where it actually touches the top (to exclude air). Refrigerate until cool.


Use pastry cream to enrich cut up fruit! If the meal is carbo heavy, skip the tart crust. Make up a batch of incarnato sauce and spoon onto a bowl of diced fruit. Smooth on a thick layer of pastry cream and top with a display of additional minced fruit, or dried fruit, or nuts/seeds.

Papaya with Pastry Cream
Papaya with Incarnato Sauce and Coconut Pastry Cream with Pecans
Dessert: Bananas Incarnato
Pastry Cream Instead of Whipped Cream Atop Bananas & Tangarines with Incarnato Sauce
Pastry Cream Topped Papaya

– Recipes by B. Hettig

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