Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
This pastry cream will keep 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator or in the freezer up to 2 months. This recipe make 4 1/4 cups. You need not a double boiler, only a saucepan and a small metal bowl placed over the saucepan full of simmering water that doesn't touch the water.
- 3 1⁄4 cups milk (whole milk, please)
- 1⁄2 cup sugar, plus
- 2 teaspoons sugar (110 g total)
- 3 slices fine lemon zest
- 7 egg yolks
- 1 egg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (70 g)
- 1 -2 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 1 1/2 t vanilla and 3 to 4 T rum)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (45 g)
- Slowly heat the milk, 2 t of the sugar, and the lemon zest in the top of a double boiler over simmering water.
- Meanwhile, whisk the remaining sugar, egg yolks, egg, and salt until thick but still golden, 2 to 3 minute.
- Sift the flour, a little at a time, whisking briskly to mix thoroughly.
- Whisk 1/2 c of the boiling milk mixture, 2 T at a time, into the egg mixture; then pour the egg mixture into the remaining milk mixture (this is a technique known as tempering).
- Cook over medium-high heat, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- As it begins to reach a boil and look lumpy, whisk vigorously to smooth it.
- When the cream is as thick as mayonnaise, reduce the heat and whisk or stir for another minute.
- Remove from the heat and discard the lemon zest.
- Beat in the vanilla and then the butter, 1 T at a time.
- Cool the cream quickly by placing the pan in a bowl of cold water or by spreading the cream out on 2 baking sheets.
- Smear a little butter on top and cover tightly with plastic wrap so cream doesn't get a skin.
- Cool completely in refrigerator.
- You may want to thin it with a couple of T of milk before using it.