You will find recipes calling for flour in pastry cream. However, it creates a sandy, almost powdery texture. There is an easy workaround for this problem, which creates an amazingly smooth texture. Use pastry cream to fill pastries, Boston cream pie, and other desserts.
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Gluten Free Pastry Cream Using Cornstarch
An easy gluten free pastry cream recipe you can use within about 1 hour. It's rich and delicious. Add yolks for a deep yellow color or butter for richness.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature* (important!)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon (or less) ground turmeric, for color (optional)
- Add half of the sugar and all of the milk to a medium-size saucepan. Scald (almost bring to a boil) over medium to medium-high heat, about 12 minutes.
- Whisk together the remaining sugar, cornstarch, and eggs; set aside.
- Once the milk is hot, add about 1/2 cup to the egg mixture, and whisk together immediately until no lumps remain.
- Add the milk-egg mixture back into the saucepan, and whisk immediately and constantly over medium heat until thick, about 3 to 5 minutes. (It lumps easily. So be sure to whisk continuously. See tips section to learn how to fix lumpy custard.)
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Allow the saucepan to sit in an ice bath (water and ice) until it reaches room temperature, about 20 minutes. Stir in turmeric, if using. (Be careful as the color brightens the long it sits.)
- Use immediately or refrigerate until chilled. If not using within 2 hours, add a sheet of plastic wrap directly over the cream, or cover with a lid. Use in pastries (before or after baking), as a sauce for desserts, and a filling for cakes and cupcakes.
If lumps form in the custard, puree using a handheld or counter-top blender. Then return it to the saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together an additional tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of milk, and slowly whisk it into the custard. Constantly whisk over medium-high heat until thick, 1 - 2 minutes.
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