Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vanilla Cream Custard

Another all-purpose baking component is vanilla cream. Once set, it can be used for pie filling, pudding, or filling things like cream puffs and donuts. The ingredients are similar as for creme anglaise (ice cream base), but the addition of cornstarch makes it set up thick.

This variation is from the Williamsburg Cookbook, but I only use 4 egg yolks instead of their 5. Holiday season or not, I had to draw the line somewhere.

4 egg yolks
1/2 C sugar
2 Tb cornstarch
2 C milk
1 tsp vanilla

1. Beat together egg yolks and sugar. Set aside.

2. Dissolve cornstarch in 1/2 C milk. Combine that and remainder of milk in a saucepan. Add vanilla and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. It will start to thicken as it approaches the boil.

3. Temper the egg yolks with about 1/4 of the hot milk. Whisk thoroughly and add to milk in saucepan. Stir and return to a boil. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring to avoid curdling the eggs. Do not boil too long, or the cornstarch will start to lose its thickening power.

4. Strain, if needed, and chill until ready to use.

Makes about 2 cups

For creme mousseline: Once custard is cool, beat 1 C whipping cream to soft peaks and fold into custard.

Difficulty rating π

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