Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cahloo! Calay! O! Frabjous Pastrycream!

Well, maybe. It sure was tasty, but it was another case of me not being able to follow a simple plan. By which I mean, recipe. To wit-

Pastry cream
2 cups milk
1/4 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks 1 egg
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan, stir together the milk and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and egg. Stir together the remaining sugar and cornstarch; then stir them into the egg until smooth.
When the milk comes to a boil, drizzle it into the bowl in a thin stream while mixing so that you do not cook the eggs. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly so the eggs don' t curdle or scorch on the bottom.
When the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla, mixing until the butter is completely blended in. Pour into a heat-proof container and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.Refrigerate until chilled before using.

Improved version: Sub half and half for milk. Sub equal weights powdered sugar omit cornstarch Use double boiler whisk sugar and eggs together until quite smooth. Whisk in half and half. Put it all in double boiler, whisk constantly until rather thick. More egg yolk would make it firmer and richer, more starch would make it firmer but lighter. Treat as above to finish.

Improved? Hard to say, but lots simpler. I should have made the custard last night, because it never set properly in the amount of time I had, which resulted in a mishap on the way to St. Johns where it was, fortunately, eaten.

I realized later that the original instructions calling for starch say to boil it because cornstarch is not activated unless it is brought to a boil. The whole starch thing seemed odd in a custard, after all I think the point is to have a rich, indulgent cream for special occasions, like independence day. Next time, it's getting another yolk.

Ha, I almost forgot the crust recipe, which is one I have used before.

2 1/2 c flour

3T sugar

1 c butter

4T ice water

2 egg yolks

1/2 tsp salt.

make as for any pastry crust. And if you make a crust that gets baked before it's filled, do realize that it will shrink substantially, which is another thing I failed to account for. Oh, darn, there is leftover pastry cream, what shall I do?

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