There are several different types of custards, but two are used more frequently than all the others combined. These are crème anglaise and crème pâtissière. Crème Anglaise is the classic English custard, this we use to pour over desserts, like the custard in the Hungarian version of floating islands otherwise known as madártej. This custard tends to be a bit tricky to make, because the eggs can curdle if you don’t pay enough attention to tempering.

The thicker and more stable custard is crème pâtissière, this is what we call pastry cream. Pastry cream is used to fill pies, tarts, cakes, and miscellaneous desserts. Pastry cream is usually made with either flour or cornstarch. [The purist approach is to use cornstarch only.] My recipe contains both flour and cornstarch. I find custard made with only flour tends to be a bit doughy and using only cornstarch can be challenging at times; if the cornstarch overheats, the custard can remain runny. On the other hand, using both flour and cornstarch reduces the risk of not setting and at the same time it tastes better.

2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour, sifted
6 Tbsp cornstarch, sifted

• In a large bowl beat the sugar and egg yolks until thick and pale yellow.
• Add a pinch of salt and gradually whisk in the sifted flour and cornstarch.
• Make a smooth paste and set aside.
• With a sharp knife split the vanilla bean lengthwise.
• Place the milk in a bowl and heat it in the microwave to the boiling.
• Transfer the hot milk to a medium sized saucepan and add the vanilla bean.
• Set to medium, heat the milk until it begins to foam up.
• Remove from heat.
• Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the milk.
• Reserve the vanilla bean for another use later.*
• Then by dribbles first, gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg paste.
• Place a fine sieve over the pot the milk was used to heat up.
• Now pour the hot custard to be through the fine sieve and back into the pot.
• Cook on medium heat whisking constantly until custard thickens.
• Remove from heat and pour into a clean bowl.
• Cover the surface with wrap. Place the wrap right on the custard. This will prevent skin forming.
• Cool.
• If not using right away refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze.
• Beat before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!