Can I Tell You A Little Secret?

Next time you see a creme patissiere (cream pastry) that comes with little dots in it?

Step back, take a bow and know what you have in front of you is the fruit of a labor of love. Take heart that the custard is done with real vanilla pods. Which is not only more expensive and more flavorful and more natural. It is also less practical than vanilla extract or worse, vanilla essence.

I am very pleased with how this creme patissiere turns out. I am a bit skeptical, because it’s not sweet enough in my opinion. But I’m going to wait and see until I’ve assembled my mini fruit tarts glazed with lemon honey before I cast my judgement.

(source Joy of Baking)

1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
3 large egg yolks
50 gr white sugar
20 gr all purpose flour
20 gr corn starch
1/2 tbsp liquor (cognac, grand marnier, brandy etc)- optional

  • In a sauce pan with medium heat, bring the milk and vanilla bean just to boiling, until the milk starts to foam up.
  • While the milk is boiling, in a medium bowl whisk the sugar and egg yolk together. 
  • Sift in the flour and corn starch until you get a smooth paste. 
  • Once the milk is about to boil, remove from heat and slowly pour into the egg mixture while continue whisking. Temper the egg little by little (to avoid curdling), then finally pour in a steady stream. What you’ll have is a very liquid milk-egg mixture.
  • Remove the vanilla pod, slit it open in the middle to scrape the seeds. And dump it over the liquid milk-egg mixture and whisk to break it. 
  • Pour milk-egg mixture back into the sauce pan and over medium-high heat, heat up the milk-egg mixture till it’s about to boil. Do not stop whisking.
  • Once it boils, it will turn thicker like custard. Remove from heat and continue whisking until  you have a consistent paste. 
  • If you’re using vanilla extract and adding liquor, this is the time to add them.
  • If you have curdling, put it through strainer. 
  • Transfer back to a clean bowl, let it cool down and ready for use. 
~ Don’t throw away the vanilla pod. Instead wash it and let it dry. Once it’s dry, chuck it into a jar of white sugar. After a week or so, you’ll have the most fragrant white sugar in the entire ‘hood.
~ For adults-only party, I would strongly suggest adding liquor. It tastes so much better. I added rum on my batch.


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