To start the pastry cream, first secure the bowl in place, by using a damp cloth underneath the bowl. With a sturdy whisk, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Add the cornstarch and whisk until well blended and light in color.
Heat the milk and vanilla over medium heat and bring the mixture just to the boiling point. Temper the egg mixture, by adding the hot liquid a bit at a time, while continuously whisking.
Transfer the mixture back into a clean pot over medium-low heat. At this point, it is important to whisk constantly, until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Make sure to get the whisk right into the corners of the pot so everything cooks evenly and the bottom doesn’t scorch. Once the mixture has clearly thickened and has started to bubble, whisk continuously for about another minute to cook out the cornstarch.
Pour the pastry cream into a stainless-steel bowl and place over an ice bath to cool. Stir a few times to quickly bring down the temperature and once cool, cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
Place the pastry cream into the refrigerator to chill completely. Pastry cream is widely used in desserts and pastries.
Note: For a more intense vanilla flavor, the extract can be added to the pastry cream once it goes over the ice bath.
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 7 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract