Since last weekend I have been diligently studying my “Baking Bible” . Just this morning I cut up Post-Its and marked each recipe that I wanted to try. If only I was this studious in college!
As you will recall from last weekend I have a nice 1/2 batch of Brioche dough sitting comfortably in the freezer. This dough has a 1 week ‘best if used by’ date so out it comes for this weekend’s festivities. I scoured the pages of the cookbook and stumbled upon one of my favorite vennoise from Paris: Pain aux Raisins. Not only did I try these at a wonderful boulangerie but I also created my own with our left over brioche dough from class at Le Cordon Bleu. However, the peppy assistants at LCB did the dirty work and handed us beautiful bowls of pastry cream. This time, I made my own.
The process was oh, so simple. The major components of any pastry cream are egg yolks, flour, sugar, and vanilla. Don’t listen to a recipe that requires cornstarch. It comes together all on its own without any help!
Pastry Cream (Adapted from Flour Bakery Cookbook)
Pastry cream can be used for a variety of fillings. The best, of course, being for the traditional French baked good Pain aux Raisins.
1 1/4 c milk (I used 2%)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cake flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
Pour milk into medium saucepan and heat over high heat until bubbles start forming around the edges. Remove at this point.
Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl. Set aside. Whisk flour, sugar and salt into egg mixture until a sticky paste forms.
Slowly pour milk into the egg mixture and mix to combine.
Return to saucepan and heat over medium. Whisk vigorously ( I mean it, don’t stop whisking!) for 2 minutes. Stop and see if it starts boiling. If so, whisk 5-10 seconds more and remove from heat. If not, continue whisking.
When finished, pour into a heatproof bowl and cover directly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or more (up to 3 days).
You see? Simple! It just takes some pre-planning and attention.
Check back tomorrow morning for the result of my attempt at Pain aux Raisins.