Custard (Crema pasticcera)

Custard (crema pasticcera) is one of the most popular cream used by Italian confectioner in their cakes and in the patisserie in general.

This yellow cream is made just with yolks, sugar, milk and flour, and needs just about 15 minutes to be ready.

I have to admit that I love custard, and sometimes I make it for my kids and me, and we eat it alone as a pudding, or as dressing for plain cookies.

Custard has multiple uses: filling for cakes, bigne’, pastry’s cakes, pastries; or as ingredient for puddings, semifreddi and desserts.

If mixed with whipping cream, Custard becomes Chantilly cream.

Ingredients

6  yolks (6 tuorli)

2 oz. or 1/4 cup all porpose flour (45 gr. farina)

1 tbs vanilla extract (1 cucchiaio aroma vaniglia)

2/3 cup sugar (140 gr. zucchero)

16 oz. or 2 cups whole milk (500 ml. latte intero)

1 lemon zest (la buccia di un limone)

DIRECTIONS

Peel the lemon and put the zest in a sauce pan with 3/4 of the milk (save 1\4 of the milk for later). Warm the milk up at medium heat.

In the meantime whip the yolks with the sugar and the vanilla extract.

Once the yolks looks creamy and fluffy, sift in the flour, and whip it again.

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Add to the mix the milk you saved, to make it more liquid.

When the milk reaches the boiling point, take out the lemon zest, switch off the heat,  add the yolks mix to the milk and stir with a whisk.

Switch on the heat again, and bring the cream to boil, stirring.

Once the cream becomes dense and boils, switch off the heat again, and let the cream cooling off.

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To prevent the surface of the cream hardens, cover it with a sheet of plastic foil.

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Once cooled, the cream is ready to be used.

 

 

Tips:

– The custard is very good also served warm, if used to garnish a plain cake or plain biscuits;
– If covered with plastic foil and kept in the fridge it lasts for 2/3 days at the most, and can be frozen;
– You can use the remaining egg whites to make meringues.

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