Vanilla Pastry Cream

July 27, 2012
I know how to bake, I know how to cook, but I don’t know how to put on makeup.  I rarely ever put makeup on, and when I do its when we are “dressing up” and going out and I still only put on the basics.  So when I’m stuck in a situation where I need to put on real makeup – eye shadow, eyeliner, the whole shebang – I’m lost.  It’s like I need to go to makeup school.  What normally happens is I have my sister put my makeup on, or she walks me through what to do.  I know, seems lame at my age but you can’t win them all :). 
But I’ll tell you this, I’d rather know how to make this delicious Pastry Cream than know how to put on makeup the real way! 
This recipe is my go-to Pastry Cream recipe.  If I want to incorporate some type of thick, creamy, component into a dessert, I make this Pastry Cream.  It’s super easy to make and really adds a great rich flavor to every dish.
It’s a good idea to have a delicious Pastry Cream recipe in your repertoire – and this is mine!

Vanilla Pastry Cream
For Printable Recipe, Click here!
Makes: About 3 cups
2 cups Half and Half
½ cup Sugar
Pinch Salt
5 Egg Yolks
3 tablespoons Cornstarch
4 tablespoons  (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter
1½ teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
Heat the half and half and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering – just before the boiling point — stirring occasionally.  
Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until creamy.  Add the cornstarch to the egg mixture and whisk until the mixture has thickened and has become a light pale yellow color.

When the half and half begins to simmer, remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture to the pot and place over medium heat.  Whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened and bubbles start to form on the surface, about 2-5 minutes.  
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.  Strain the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.  Press plastic wrap directly on the surface, and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 2 hours. 
Pastry Cream lasts up to 1 week sealed in the refrigerator.
Pastry Cream adapted from Annie Eats, who adapted it from Baking Illustrated.

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  • Sallysbakingaddiction July 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Yup, my priorities are knowing how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie, the creamiest guacamole, and the fudgiest brownies… they all mean much more to me than knowing how to apply eyeliner or contouring my face with blush haha!  And this pastry cream… so thick and almost too good to eat…. almost 😉

  • Melissa Maruca July 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I can keep doing your make-up and you can keep baking goodies for me
    Seems like a pretty even trade!

  • Chrissy August 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    This looks SO GOOD! I accidentally made some pastry-like cream out of what was suppose to be a mascarpone whipped cream. Meh, like you said, you can’t win them all.

    Next time I do intend on making a creamy filling, I’ll try this! 😉

  • Kelly October 4, 2012 at 5:00 am

    This looks delicious! Could I use this for Boston Cream Pie? And congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy 🙂