Building Blocks: Sweet Pastry Cream

Ingredients: Enough to fill a 9″ tart/pie/cake layer (apprx 1.5 cups of filling)

3 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch (or substitute with 2 tbsp of all purpose flour)
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract (substitute with almond, orange or other flavors as per preference)

1. Beat the granulated sugar, flour, cornstarch and egg yolks on medium speed using a whisk attachment (electric or hand mixer, even hand blender will do) until thick and pale yellow, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and vanilla extract and bring to a simmer. Pour half the milk into the sugar mixture, while stirring, until mixed.
3. Now pour this mixture back into the pan with the remaining milk and place over medium-low heat.
4. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes ( a good test is to touch the back of a spoon into the custard and see if it coats the spoon well. If it does, then you are done). Make sure to scrape the sides and corners of the pan while whisking to prevent scorching/lumps.
5. Pour the pastry cream into a fresh bowl, cover with foil/paper and let cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate for 1 hour or till needed. The cream can be made 1-2 days ahead.

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