Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dessert Wars with Pastry Cream Filled Pies

Today I write to you from the bunkers, you see I'm at war. I'm not sure who declared war on was either Mr B or my Dad, but either way one of them did (without discussing it with Mum or I first mind you!) and now we are in the middle of all out tactical war....dessert style.

I happen to be particularly anti-war, mainly because I don't like conflict, but I figure if there has to be a war and you have to be involved in it, it should be a dessert war or a shoe war or you know something like that.

Our side landed the first hit in the form of these Pastry Cream Filled Pies. 

These pies are a  Mr B original and I must admit when he told me how he made them, I didn't believe him and made him do it again so I could see it with my own eyes.

For those of you who have a pie maker out there, you will know that you put a piece of shortcrust pastry in the bottom, top it with your filling, finish it off with a piece of puff pastry, close the lid and minutes later you have yourself a pie. Well, Mr B put one piece of puff pastry into the pie maker, closed the lid and minutes later he had a hollow pie, perfect for filling. I have no idea how that one piece of puff pastry managed to separate and create a perfectly formed pie, albeit hollow, but I am sure glad it did (and glad I have an inquisitive husband who experiments with these things!).

When Mr B told me about his little hollow pies and his idea for filling them with something delicious for dessert, we had lots of ideas like chocolate mousse and strawberry cheesecake, but we decided to bring out the big guns and go with a beautiful pastry cream which I whipped up the night before.

When we were ready for dessert, Mr B made a small hole in the top of each hollow pie and piped the pastry cream in until they were full to bursting point. A few strawberries, some icing sugar and you have yourself a winner.

Here is the recipe we used for the Pastry Cream which we may or may not have eaten (sucked) straight from the piping bag.....

2 cups full cream milk
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tspn vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornflour

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt. Heat until the mixture begins to simmer.

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, egg yolks and cornflour.

Add the hot milk mixture, half a cup at a time, whisking until combined after each addition.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. It should have the consistency of thick custard.

Remove from the heat and transfer the pastry cream to a clean bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming.

Place in the fridge to cool. When you are ready to use your pastry cream, remove from the fridge and whisk first just to make sure it is nice and silky smooth. The pastry cream will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Mrs B xx

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