“Another excellent, basic recipe from Gayle’s Bakery. Designated for use in the Princess Cake, but extremely versatile for other baked goods as well.” – Calla Ferre
- 1 1/2 Cup Half & Half
- 6 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 4 Large Egg Yolks Room Temperature
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- In a heavy saucepan, warm the half-and-half over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the cornstarch with the sugar. Using a whisk, whip in the water until smooth. Add the egg yolks and beat to incorporate.
- When the half-and-half is simmering, slowly add about 1/2 of it to the cornstarch mixture, whisking continuously to incorporate. Whisk this mixture into the simmering half-and-half and continue to whisk vigorously until the pastry cream thickens, about 2 to 5 minutes. It is very important to whisk continuously or the pastry cream may form lumps.
- When the pastry cream has thickened, remove it from the heat and add vanilla. Transfer it to a glass or metal bowl with a plastic lid. A bowl covered by a plate works well too. Stir the mixture frequently while it is cooling to prevent a skin from forming on top.
- Refrigerate the pastry cream after it has cooled. It keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but should not be frozen because it will become very watery and lose its smooth texture. Makes 3 cups.
Recipe – Calla Ferre – From The Village Baker’s Wife: The Desserts And Pastries That Made Gayle’s Famous, 1997