3 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour)
1OO grams (3 ½ oz) superfine (caster) sugar
4 egg yolks
450 ml (10 fl oz) milk
2 tablespoons butter, diced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whipped cream (optional)
- Mix the flour, cornstarch and sugar in a heavy-bottomed nonstick pan. Lightly beat the egg yolks with 4 tablespoons of the milk, pour into the pan, and mix well.
- In another pan, bring the remaining milk to a boil and pour it gradually onto the egg and flour mixture, stirring vigorously.
- Stir the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes, or until the cream is thick and smooth.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cubed butter and vanilla.
- If the cream is too stiff, gradually stir in a little milk until the desired consistency is reached.
- If the cream is too thin, add 2 teaspoons more cornstarch dissolved into two tablespoons milk, and continue cooking until it has thickened.
- If the cream is lumpy, strain it through a fine sieve or process in a blender for l minute.
- Press a piece of plastic wrap (cling film) onto surface to prevent it from forming a skin.
- When the cream is completely cold, fold in the whipped cream, if using.
- Pastry cream is good for filling for cakes and pastries. It keeps for up to 2 days in the refrigerator, but cannot be frozen.