Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

June 24, 2014

vanilla pastry cream.

Don't you love it when you make a list of things to do, and at the end of the day, you've actually crossed off almost every item?

I have always been a list-maker (before I realized during college that they usually made me more stressed, and then I obsessively turned to Google calendars). When I was younger, I would put things like "Brush teeth" and "Make bed" on my summer to-do list, oftentimes after I had already done them, just to feel better about myself.

My list has developed to slightly more important things - like "check 401(k) policy" and "apply to med school." It's a nice day, however, when my to-do list tells me to make pastry cream. I can certainly oblige to that.

Before whipped cream.

I had a dessert the other day that spurred the making of this pastry cream - I'll talk about it later, but it included a type of vanilla bean custard that wasn't as heavy as pastry creams I have had in the past.

I realized they had probably folded whipped cream into it! Wow, what a revelation. A fan of all things custard and creamy, I had to look up the perfect recipe for this.

I found a couple solid recipes, but settled on one from King Arthur, the flour company. Lately, I've found them to be very reliable when it comes to recipes, and not just the ones involving flour. I initially wondered why a flour company would have a pastry cream recipe ... and chuckled when I found out that this recipe has one tablespoon of flour included, which probably explains it.

Regardless, I highly enjoyed it, and have made it twice already!

And if you're wondering what you can do with pastry cream (besides eat it all yourself..), consider making a trifle, dolloping some between cake layers, filling baked phyllo cups with it, serving it with fruit, or using it the way I did, which I will explain soon in an upcoming blogpost. Enjoy!

After whipped cream!

Vanilla Pastry Cream:
from here.
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch 
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (substituting vanilla bean would give beautiful specks!)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (I used half coconut oil, half butter for a hint of coconut)
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk 2 1/2 cups milk, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer over low-medium heat, stirring frequently. 
  2. Meanwhile, whisk cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with remaining 1/2 cup milk. 
  3. Whisk a ladleful of the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to add 5 more ladlefuls. 
  4. Pour egg yolks into saucepan, stirring constantly to prevent yolks from scrambling. Simmer until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in butter (or coconut oil) and vanilla extract. 
  5. Pour custard into a heatproof bowl, and place plastic wrap directly on surface of filling. 
  6. Once completely cool, fold whipped cream into custard. Leave in fridge until ready to use. Will last a few days before it starts weeping.

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