Pastry cream or crema pasticcera a popular Italian cream (related to a thick custard) that is used as a filling for numerous pastries and cakes. You can use this cream as it is or simply add some other flavors to it such as vanilla, chocolate, rosewater, etc. Here is the recipe:
- 2 cups whole milk
- zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg (+ 2 large egg yolks)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan, combine together milk and finely grated lemon zest. Heat over medium-low heat, just till some bubbles appear at edges, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, on high speed, whisk the egg and egg yolks along with the sugar (around 3-4 minutes). Then, reduce the speed to low, and apply four and vanilla extract. Whisk again just to incorporate.
- Next, pour in the warm milk mixture. Increase speed to high; whisk one minute more and transfer the cream to the saucepan again and heat. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, till the mixture has thickened (around 2-3 minutes).
- Remove and transfer warm cream to a bowl. Apply a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream. Place in the fridge to chill, around 2 hours before serving.