This is a fantastic pastry cream recipe. First, I must say, I have been making cake and pastry professionally for almost ten years. I have replaced my former tried-and-true recipe with this one, as this achieves the exact purpose that pastry cream serves. It's thick, not pasty, and sweet enough. If it seems too thick, after you cook it and chill it, you can just stir it with a whisk to loosen it up. You can also use whole eggs or just yolks. If you use whole eggs instead of yolks, replace every two yolks with one whole egg to make it a bit lighter. Similarly, replace one egg with two yolks for a creamier, denser custard.
The thickness of the pastry cream depends on how long you cook it. Before adding the eggs to the pot, whisk in about a third of the hot milk into the eggs to warm them, then whisk the egg mix back into the pot. Stir with whisk constantly (on medium-high heat, for me) till mixture begins to boil, then whisk like crazy (carefully) till it begins to thicken. Pull it off the heat when it looks just thick enough. Remember that it'll continue to cook slightly as it sits. If you want a looser cream, don't cook it till it's super thick in the pot.
Whisk your softened butter in thoroughly. Don't leave streaks of melted butter. Mix in your vanilla (I use 1.5 t of bourbon vanilla extract) thoroughly, and push the custard through a strainer. Always strain your custards! Even if you don't have curdled egg in your mix, it gives you a more refined final product.
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This is a fantastic pastry cream recipe. First, I must say, I have been making cake and pastry...