You can’t see CurvyMama, but she’s dancing around the kitchen in her apron, waving a happy whisk in the air. Why all this jubilation after 10 p.m. on a weekday? I made the perfect pastry cream!
I have suffered through the slings and arrows of outrageously–and inexplicably–runny pastry cream. So I am savoring this victory, knowing that on another occasion I might screw it up again and lose all hope.
For now, let me celebrate with this picture:
See the lovely shine? The perfect consistency? The charming little specks of vanilla?
I can attest to its perfection: I thawed out a tiny eclair pastry that I had frozen (I know, people like me have such things in our freezers) and spooned a little bit of the cream into it: wonderful!
I will dream creamy, happy dreams. And I will leave you with the recipe.
- 2 c. whole milk
- A pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split open
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 4 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chopped into small pieces
- In a saucepan, combine the milk and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, and the pod, into the milk. Put a medium-high flame under the pan.
- Whisk together the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until lightened. Little by little, whisk in the cornstarch.
- When the milk is hot enough to give off steam, temper the eggs by slowly drizzling about one-third of the hot milk into them, whisking constantly.
- Pour the tempered eggs back into the saucepan and discard the vanilla bean. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the cream is thick, shiny, and has lost any taste of cornstarch.
- When it starts to make big, slow "blurp" bubbles, reduce heat to medium and cook -- and whisk -- a minute or two more.
- Remove from heat. Pour through a sieve. Stir in the butter until it's incorporated. Press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream and chill.