This classic French recipe is so versatile. You could use it in about anything that requires cream such as cream puffs, eclairs, base for tarts and danishes. It is basically just a custard, rather easy to whip up, but tasted heavenly. In fact, if you are venturing into pastry arts, a good pastry cream recipe in hands is essential.
Once you have mastered the making of this custard, you could tweak it to make other variations. Add a little chopped chocolate and you have chocolate flavoured pastry cream. And how about some fruit puree for that tangy taste? Oh, and I strongly recommend the durian flavour if your are adventurous. The possibility is just endless.
Easy Pastry Cream/Crème Pâtissière 卡士达奶油Makes 2 approx. cups pastry cream
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups full fat milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract/1 vanilla beans cut into half and scrape seeds
1. In a mixing bowl, beat together egg yolks and sugar. Add in cornstarch and beat until well combined. Mixture will turn creamy and pale.
2. In a heavy saucepan, heat milk and vanilla beans (if using) to a boil. Immediately remove from fire and slowly drizzle into the bowl of egg yolk mixture. It is essential not to cook the egg yolks when tempering or else we will have lumpy custard. Stir in all the milk into the mixing bowl.
3. Return mixture to the saucepan and boil mixture at a very low heat while stirring constantly until custard starts to thicken. Remove from fire once custard thickens. Custard tends to thicken very fast. If it is turning lumpy, remove from fire and stir until smooth, then return to fire.
4. Add in butter and vanilla extract (if using) and stir until well incorporated.
5. Pour custard into a bowl and cover directly to the surface with a piece of cling wrap. This would prevent skin from forming. Set aside to cool or put into the refrigerator until needed.