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Pastry Cream

(recipe, Ina Garten)


Making crème anglaise, a French vanilla sauce, is a delicate process because you can overcook it and end up with vanilla scrambled eggs. Pastry cream, on the other hand, has similar ingredients, but it's more like a custard. You can actually boil it without having the eggs scramble. Use it to fill fruit tarts and cream puffs.


  1. 5 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  2. ¾ cup sugar
  3. 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  4. 1½ cups scalded milk
  5. ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  6. 1 tsp. Cognac
  7. 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  8. 1 Tbsp. heavy cream


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed and add the cornstarch.
  2. With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes. Don't be alarmed when the custard comes to a boil and appears to curdle; switch to a whisk and beat vigorously. Cook, whisking constantly, for another 2 minutes; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding. Stir in the vanilla, Cognac, butter, and heavy cream.
  3. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.