Vanilla Pastry Cream with Variations
Use this basic vanilla pastry cream as a filling for cakes, cream puffs, éclairs and Napoleons.
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan. Gradually whisk in half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
- Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Cover and chill 4 hours before using.
Makes 3 cups.
- Peanut Butter Pastry Cream: Omit 2 tablespoons butter, and stir in 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter.
- Coffee Pastry Cream: Stir 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules in with half-and-half.
- Grand Marnier Pastry Cream: Omit vanilla extract, and stir in 2 tablespoons orange liqueur.