Francois Payard's Pastry Cream (Creme Patissiere)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
In a small saucepan over medium heat, scald milk, heavy cream, and vanilla bean by bringing the mixture just to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove vanilla bean.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour and continue whisking until smooth.
Slowly pour the hot-milk mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk until completely smooth and free of lumps. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook for another 2 minutes.
Remove the pastry cream to a bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until ready to use.