Authentic crema pasticcera or Italian pastry cream makes an ultimate Italian custard dessert, easy and quick to prepare, and extremely versatile. Use it as a delicious filling for a variety of desserts.
* With this amount of cream, you will be able to fill an 8-inch (20 cm) diameter cake, making two layers of cream.
Separate the egg yolk from the whites and place the yolks in a large bowl. Add sugar and cornstarch and mix with a balloon whisk for 10-20 seconds.
Pour the cold milk and cream into a saucepan. Cut the vanilla pod vertically into two halves with a small sharp knife, scrape the vanilla seeds with the knife's tip, then add them to the liquids.
Bring the milk and cream over medium heat. When the mixture is almost boiling, pour it into the yolk mixture and continue stirring with the whisk.
Transfer the custard mixture back to low or very low heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly until a thick and smooth cream. The cream is ready when it reaches 179°F (82°C), at a maximum of 185°F (85°C) if checked with a cooking thermometer.
Pour the cream into a bowl, better on a shallow plate, and cover it in contact with plastic film. This will help prevent skin formation on top of the cream.
Let it all cool down to room temperature, then use it or refrigerate. Before using, whisk the custard with the hand whisk to regain consistency.