July 19, 2007

Cream Pan [Tustin]

My recent obsession with Cream Pan (1) has broken at a feverish pitch.

A few weeks ago, my SO and I drove 15 minutes out to Tustin only to discover that the bakery would be closed for the next 1.5 weeks for the Fourth of July holiday. I had been anticipating the July 11th reopening and got up the minute I stirred awake at 8am. I called and to my dismay, it was closed until July 11, and reopening on the 12. I woke up the next morning to the same routine, but was thwarted by 9:30am freeway traffic. I hate Southern California.

I gave up the endeavor for a week and finally made it back today for my reunion with the sandwich lunch boxes and strawberry croissants. But no visit to Cream Pan is complete without the taste of something new:

Apple Croissant: The croissant dough has the same light sweetness as the strawberry ones do, but aren't meant to be as crispy. There's more air baked into this croissant, which keeps the pastry layers inside fluffy and soft. The apples are a nice touch, especially if you're looking for something less sweet to start your day off with.

Chocolate Croissant: The unsweetened dough in this croissant really brings out the smokiness of the dark chocolate. The chocolate is dense, rich, and almost like biting in a solid chocolate bar enveloped in flaky layers of puff pastry. Recommended with a cup of coffee. In France, this pastry would be called a pain au chocolat, which is a variation on the croissant.

Cream Pan: This namesake pastry is ironically not Cream Pan's signature item (see previous post on strawberry croissants). It is a sweet bread bun filled with custard cream on the inside. The bread is comprised of a million little web-like fibers that are layered inside for a feathery lightness.

Azuki Cream Pan: Although the name suggests a similarity, the Azuki Cream Pan is not the same baked bread filled with red bean instead of custard. The Azuki is more similar to a dense croissant than a baked bread. Its layers of puff pastry are interspersed with red bean filling and a lot, almost too much, whipped cream. While the pastry was light, I couldn't get over the explosion of cream that accosted my mouth upon first bite.

Cream Pan also has a brisk commercial account with Ebisu Market in Fountain Valley and the Marukai Pacific Market in Gardena. I've seen strawberry croissants, sandwiches, and breads at the former, though the Pacific Market may only carry the bread.

Cream Pan
602 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 665-8239

Ebisu Supermarket
18930 Brookhurst St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
(714) 962-2108

Marukai Pacific Market
1620 W Redondo Beach Blvd
Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 464-8888

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