Deliciously Easy Pastry Cream

You will be amazed at how many uses you find for pastry cream.  Use it between layers of cake,  as the filling in Boston Cream pies, as the filling in eclairs and cream puffs.  Use it in all sorts of pastries including napoleons.  I like to use it with the frangipane and layer it with strawberry rhubarb compote.

Deliciously Easy Pastry Cream

2 c. half and half

1/4 c cornstarch

4 T unsalted butter

2 t vanilla paste

1/2 c granulated sugar

6 egg yolks (save the whites for French Macaroons – recipe coming)

In a heat proof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until they change to a lighter color (not frothy).

Pastry Cream 1       Pastry Cream 2

Add the cornstarch and continue whisking until the mixture holds a “ribbon”.

Pastry Cream 6

Heat the milk in a saucepan until just before the boiling point (little bubbles around the edge of the pan).  Slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs whisking continuously so you don’t cook the eggs.

Pastry Cream 5

Then strain back into the saucepan and continue cooking until thick stirring the entire time so you don’t scorch the pastry cream.

Remove from heat and place the saucepan in an ice bath.

Pastry Cream 3

Immediately stir the butter and vanilla paste into the pastry cream.  When it has cooled down, pour into a storage container.  Cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap directly on the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.  Refrigerate.

Pastry Cream 4

NOTE:  You cannot freeze pastry cream but it can be refrigerated for several days.  I have used it up to 6 days later.


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