Pastry cream, crème pâtissière, crema pasticcera...in whichever language you say it, it sounds beautiful. Creamy and wonderful. Perfect enough to eat right out of the bowl spoonful after spoonful. But wait! Don't eat it all, my silly friends. Save it for creating some incredible desserts.
In Italy they are used to fill crostate, pâte à choux (bignè, eclairs). So gorgeous filled in cakes and whatever tart you can dream of! A basic recipe you must have and need to make this summer and all year round.
When you are heating the milk, you could even make a fun flavored pastry cream. Dried lavender or even coffee beans (be sure to take out the beans after the milk comes to a boil). Or when the pastry cream is ready, you could melt about 2 ounces of chocolate chips in the hot cream and have a gorgeous chocolate pastry cream.
So now go ahead. You worked hard to make this dreamy pastry cream. You can sneak a few spoonfuls before anyone looks!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: about 10 minutes
Ingredients (about 2 cups pastry cream)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Combine the cornstarch with the sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Pour 1/2 cup of the milk into the cornstarch mixture and whisk together. Whisk the egg yolks into the cornstarch mixture until smooth.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring the remaining 1 ½ cups milk to a simmer (be sure not to boil) Once it comes to a simmer, remove the pan from the heat.
Drizzle the hot milk mixture a little at a time into the egg mixture. Keep on whisking while you drizzle in the milk.
Pour the mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium-low heat. Whisk vigorously until it comes to a boil and the whisk leaves a trail in the pastry cream (about 5-6 minutes).
As soon as the cream has the right consistency, take the pan off the heat. Stir in the vanilla and he butter.
Place plastic wrap over the pastry cream surface and let it cool completely in the refrigerator.