Sep 6, 2012

Recipe: Pastry Cream

Pastry cream is an egg-based custard filling you can use in pies and other desserts. I made some yesterday for the Strawberry Trifle I'll be putting together later today (recipe to come), and since I tweaked the recipe I used, I thought I would share it here. It's actually really simple, and you can use a hand-mixer if you don't have a stand mixer.

Pastry Cream from Chief Family Officer

Pastry Cream

Makes 4 cups
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

2 2/3 cups 1%, 2% or whole milk
1 vanilla bean
8 large egg yolks {save whites for another recipe}
2/3 cup granulated sugar {I used organic}
4 tablespoons corn starch
4 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour

1. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a medium saucepan. Add the vanilla bean pod and milk to the seeds, and heat over medium-high heat until just simmering. Whisk frequently to prevent the milk from curdling and sticking to the bottom of the pan.

2. While the milk mixture is heating, combine the egg yolks, sugar, corn starch and flour in the bowl of your mixer. With the paddle attachment (or beaters), beat on high until the mixture has thickened and is pale yellow.

3. Remove the vanilla bean pod. Transfer 1 cup of the milk mixture to a measuring cup. Turn the mixer to low and slowly pour the milk down the inside of the bowl. When the milk has fully incorporated into the egg mixture, pour the mixture into the milk in the pan. Cook the mixture over medium heat until thickened, whisking frequently to prevent clumping. The pastry cream is done when it forms a film over the back of a spoon.

4. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl and pour the hot pastry cream into the sieve. Do not force any clumps through the sieve. Remove the sieve, and directly cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap - this will prevent the cream from forming a skin. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

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