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(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.
- 5 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1½ cups scalded milk
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. Cognac
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard and refrigerate until cold.