Pastry Cream

from Karen MacNeil

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(Makes 1½ cups)

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
¼ vanilla bean (about 1½ inches long) or ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
a twist each of lemon and orange rind
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon evaporated cane juice or sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:
  1. Combine the milk, vanilla bean, and lemon and orange twists in a copper or stainless steel saucepan. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Remove vanilla bean and twists.
  2. Beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sweetener together in a bowl until the mixture whitens, using a wire whisk or electric mixer. Stir in the flour and cornstarch, blending until smooth.
  3. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, beating vigorously with a wire whisk. If you are using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, add the extract now.
  4. Pour back into the saucepan, place over medium heat, and boil the mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent the custard from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Pour the pastry cream into a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sweetener. This prevents the formation of skin on the surface. Allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate.