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Vanilla Pastry Cream

This Pastry Cream is a basic recipe that can easily be adapted and used in a number of different ways. Try it as filling for doughnuts, a base for fruit pies, stuffing for cream puffs or even just served topped with a mound of berries! You can also quickly create different flavors by adding spices or citrus zest to the milk before cooking. This recipe is gluten free because of the use of potato starch and rice flour but if those are not available you can substitute corn starch and pastry flour respectively.


Recipe Details

  • Yield: 2 cups
  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, 5 tablespoons of sugar, potato starch, and rice flour until it is a smooth paste.
  2. Add the milk and remaining 5 tablespoons of sugar into a medium small saucepan.
  3. Split the vanilla bean pod open and scrape the seeds and pod into the saucepan with milk.
  4. Over medium heat bring the milk mixture just to a gentle boil, whisking to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pan.
  5. When the milk has just come to a boil, slowly pour it into the egg yolk mixture making sure to whisk constantly as you pour.
  6. Still whisking, pour the entire mixture back into the pan and continue to cook on low heat. Switch to a heat-safe spatula and stir constantly, making sure to stir the mixture off the bottom and sides of the pan as it cooks to prevent scorching.
  7. Heat and stir the cream until it is thick enough to leave lingering tracks on the bottom of the pan, or until it reaches 160F degrees on an insta-read thermometer. This should only take a few minutes but stir continuously to avoid burning the bottom of the pan.
  8. Once thickened, transfer into a clean bowl and remove the vanilla bean pod. Whisk in the soft butter until fully melted and incorporated.
  9. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream and refrigerate to chill.

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