|by Carol Peterman||Print-friendly page|
Pastry cream is as versatile as it is delicious. It can be used to fill cakes, cream puffs and pies. The fresh ginger gives this pastry cream a fresh lively flavor that will add a little zing to anything it's used in.
2 cups whole milk
1 - 4" piece of fresh ginger, peeled (about 1.5 ounces) and cut into 4-6 pieces
1/3 cup corn starch
2/3 cup sugar
4 whole eggs
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Place the milk in a small sauce pan with the fresh ginger and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, cover and let infuse for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the eggs and whisk until combined and the sugar dissolves to create a uniform mixture.
Once the milk has infused, return it to a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Temper the egg mixture by adding the hot milk a little bit at a time, while whisking constantly. Once all the milk has been added to the eggs, return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Let the mixture boil for 1 to 2 minutes to ensure the raw starchy flavor cooks out. The pastry cream will thicken and may look a little lumpy, just keep whisking and letting it cook for the couple of minutes at a boil.
Pour the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve to strain out any lumps and the pieces of ginger. Stir in the salt and vanilla, and then stir in the butter one piece at a time. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream and chill in the refrigerator. It can be made 3 days ahead.