A rich but simple-to-make bake-stable custard perfect for piping into pastries before baking. Or to use when cold whisk together with double cream for the most luxurious custard imaginable. A perfect way to show off our BakeryBits Madagascan Whole Pod Vanilla Powder.
The custard powder just adds a little extra yellow colour to the cream, but you can simply use conflour (cornstarch) as the custard powder is mostly that. The reason for the mixture of cornflour and wheat flour is that while the cornflour gives a very light texture, the wheat flour when cooked adds a more creamy and slightly elastic consitency. So combines they give the perfect balance to the pastry cream. Egg yolks help the emulsify the ingredients but can be left out if you prefer. Butter helps the cream to thicken when cold and adds a rich flavour.
Put the flour and custard powder in a saucepan with the caster sugar and vanilla, then mix these dry ingredients together evenly with a whisk. Then add roughly half the milk and quickly whisk together until there are no lumps. Whisk in the yolks then the remaining milk. Put the saucepan on a medium heat on the stove top and bring to the boil, whisking often until thick and smooth. Finally whisk in the butter until smooth again. Spoon into a container, cover tightly and leave until cold.
To use, beat again until smooth (an electric beater is excellent for this) and spoon or pipe as needed before baking.
To make a luxurious pastry cream for piping or spreading on already-baked pastries, beat in the double cream and extra vanilla until very thick and light.