Pastry Cream
Crema Pasticcera

serves: makes enough for two 10-inch tarts

⅔ cups milk
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch, plus 1 teaspoon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a medium saucepan, scald the milk. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the whole egg, egg yolks, cornstarch, and sugar until smoothly blended. When the milk boils, add a little bit to the egg mixture and whisk well. Add this mixture to the saucepan with the remaining milk and whisk to blend. Cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream thickens and loses its raw taste, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, beat in the vanilla. With a spatula, scrape the cream into a bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill well before using.