Pastry Cream

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Yield: 4 cups

 

INGREDIENTS

3 cups half and half

1 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

2 egg yolks

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 

PREPARATION

Bring half and half to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan.  Whisk sugar, eggs, egg yolks and flour using an electric mixer with whisk attachment.  Gradually whisk in hot half and half.  Tip:  Be patient and make sure that you gradually whisk the hot mixture into the egg mixture otherwise, the heat will cause the eggs to scramble! 

Transfer to saucepan.  Whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.  Boil 1 minute.  Pour into medium bowl.  Stir in vanilla.  Press plastic onto the surface of the pastry cream.  Chill until cold, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead and keep chilled).

Pastry cream is extremely versatile and can be used in cream pies, filling for cream puffs or as a simple pudding.