A creme patissiere is a sweet custard. It can be eaten on it's own or it can be used to fill desserts such as eclairs, choux a la creme, or French fruit tarts.
When making a fruit tart, the French also take the fast and easy step to cover the fruit with a glaze. (Click on the link for the quick recipe.)
Vanilla Creme Patissiere
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon alcohol (optional) - possible choices are Chambord, rum, brandy, Kahlua, Frangelico, Kirsh, or cointreau
Be careful not to boil this custard while you are preparing it. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine flour, sugar and salt with milk, and stir until smooth and thick. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Break eggs in a small bowl and stir in a small amount of the hot sauce. Return mixture to the saucepan while stirring. Add butter and continue stirring until thickened. Add vanilla and optional alcohol, and stir. Be sure NOT to boil custard. Serve warm or cold. Cover until cool. If using in a pastry shell, it can be added to the parbaked shell while still hot.
Piping creme patissiere into a tart shell.