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Creme Patissiere

ingredients

250 ml (9 fl oz) milk
4 cm (1 1/2 in) vanilla pod, split
30 g (2 tbsp) cornflour
2 egg yolks
100 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
50 g (2 oz) icing sugar, sifted
15 ml (1 tbsp) rum or kirsch (optional)

method

1. Reserve 45 ml (3 tbsp) of milk.

2. Bring the rest of the milk and the vanilla pod to the boil, draw off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

3. Whisk the cornflour and egg yolks with the cold reserved milk.

4. Remove the vanilla pod from the hot milk and stir the milk into the egg mixture.

5. Pour the batter back into the pan and reheat the custard until it has thickened. Set aside to cool.

6. Beat the unsalted butter and the icing sugar until light and fluffy, then whip in the cold custard a tablespoon at a time.

7. Mix in the spirit or kirsch if used. Chill for at least 30 minutes.

8. The custard may be kept in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

9. Chocolate and coffee flavour Melt 100 g (4 oz) plain chocolate with 5 g (1 tbsp) instant coffee powder and 15 ml (1 tbsp) water.

10. Leave to cool. Blend into the finished custard.

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