Crema Pasticcera is a very delicious, simple and versatile pastry cream commonly used as the most basic base for many Italian desserts. As the most classic pastry cream, crema pasticcera pairs well with many baked goods. It can also be enjoyed just as is, served with poached fruits, accompanied as a filling for bignès, tarts, pastries, or as a filling for doughnuts. These are just a few examples, but the possibilities are many. Undoubtedly it will become a most loved recipe in any kitchen. Let's get started!
Simmer the milk and cream in a saucepan and add the pinch of salt, lemon or orange zest, vanilla and half of the sugar. Before removing allow the zest to steep in the milk for at least 10 minutes.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Make sure to save the egg whites for later use in other recipes such as meringues, scrambled eggs, omelets, etc.
In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar until creamy and light yellow. Gradually add the corn starch and the flour into the egg mixture and incorporate the ingredients until smooth.
Remove the lemon or orange zest from the milk, before tempering the eggs.
Incorporate a ladle of the hot milk to the batter just created while constantly whisking.
Once the egg mixture has been tempered, add the custard to the rest of the simmering milk in the pot.
Allow to simmer, stirring constantly to keep it from sticking to the bottom. Once it begins to become more dense, simmer for 2-3 minutes. Make sure not to boil as this will cause the cream to become lumpy and eggy tasting, rather than a silky custard.
As soon as it has thickened into a loose pudding consistency, pour it into a glass dish to cool, and immediately cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap touches the entire surface of the cream thus preventing the custard from forming a dry skin on the surface.
Place the covered custard into the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes or even better overnight. Crema pasticcera is a very versatile pastry cream used in many Italian desserts such as Torta della Nonna, Crostate, filling for Bomboloni (doughnuts) and more.