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Pastry Cream

This rich custard graces each layer of our classic Zuppa Inglese Cake.

  • yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Directions

  1. Step 1

    In a medium saucepan, combine milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla-bean scrapings and pod, and salt. Place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.

  2. Step 2

    In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Using a measuring cup or a ladle, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue adding milk mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, until it has all been added. Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture returns to a simmer and thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard the vanilla-bean pod.

  3. Step 3

    Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter, and beat on medium until the butter melts and mixture cools, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream; this will prevent a skin from forming. Transfer to refrigerator until cold, at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days. Just before using, remove from refrigerator and return to mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat until smooth, or whisk by hand until smooth.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, May 2006

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Reviews (1)

  • 22 Nov, 2011

    4 tablespoons cornstarch CUT INTO PIECES?? Yet another mistake. Again... Martha! You need better editors. I'm constantly finding errors! Very frustrating.