Here’s a pastry cream that I really like. Silky without being too rich, very flavorful and firm…in other words, good for lots of things. This recipe can be halved if it’s too much for whatever you happen to be planning. It doesn’t freeze well, though it will keep for a week or so in the fridge, giving you and your family plenty of time to eat it by the finger-full, which I confess is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it.
Combine in a large saucepan:
16 ounces (1 pint) heavy cream
16 ounces (1 pint) milk
4 ounces (scant half cup) sugar (2 ounces for a less-sweet version)
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
Place on the stove and bring to the boil. In the meantime combine in a large bowl:
2.25 ounces (generous half cup) cornstarch
4 ounces (scant half cup) sugar (again, if you like it less sweet, use 2 ounces)
Pinch of Salt
When the milk/cream mixture starts to boil, stir into flour mixture:
5 ounces (10) room temperature egg yolks.
Pour 3/4 of the boiling milk mixture into the yolk mixture. Whisk lightly until smooth. Then pour it all back into the pot with the remaining cream. Whisk briskly over medium-high heat until thick. Pour into shallow pans to cool.