Pastry Cream

February 25, 2011

Cream, Pastry

2 each  large egg
3 tablespoons  cornstarch
2 cups  half and half
1/2 cup  sugar
1 pinch  salt
1 teaspoon  vanilla
1 tablespoon  butter

Have a strainer set over a small bowl near the range

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and the cornstarch.   Gradually add 1/4 cup of the half and half, whisking until the mixture is smooth and the cornstarch is dissolved.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, the remaining half and half and the salt.  Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring occasionally.   Remove from heat.  

Whisk 2 tablespoons of this hot mixture into the egg mixture.  Pass the egg mixture through a strainer into a small bowl.

Bring the half-and-half mixture back to a boil over medium heat.   Quickly add all of the egg mixture, whisking rapidly.

Continue whisking rapidly for about 20 to 30 seconds, being sure to go into the bottom edge of the pan.  The mixture will become very thick.  Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.

Immediately pour the mixture into a wide, shallow bowl and place a piece of greased plastic wrap directly on top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming.

Refrigerate until cold.

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