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!
- 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