Diplomat cream is the professional baker’s tool for pastry cream that won’t collapse and turn watery. It uses both cornstarch and gelatin for the reliable structure, but a little cold butter and whipped cream keep it silky, tender and lightweight. You can fill the shells with this cream up to four hours in advance and not be disappointed.
- Serves: 1 person
- 2cups milk
- ½cup sugar
- 5egg yolks
- 3tablespoons cornstarch
- 1pinch salt
- 2tablespoons heavy cream
- 2tablespoons cold butter
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1teaspoon granulated gelatin
- 2tablespoons tap water
- ½cup heavy cream
Step 1Scald the milk with half of the sugar (1/4 cup) in a 2-quart sauce pot. Remove from heat.
Step 2In a stainless-steel bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, with yolks, cornstarch and salt until thick and creamy and pale yellow. Whisk the hot milk into the yolk mixture and return the sauce pot to the stove and whisk constantly over medium-high heat until it bubbles and thickens, 60 to 90 seconds.
Step 3Remove from heat, pour contents back into the bowl and stir in the vanilla extract. Set bowl over ice bath, and let cool a couple minutes but whisk in the cold butter while the mixture is still warm. When the pastry cream has cooled completely, stir in two tablespoons of cold heavy cream to loosen a bit. Keep chilled over ice bath.
Step 4Sprinkle gelatin over the tap water evenly to soften. Break up any clumps, then microwave for 10 or 15 seconds to dissolve completely.
Step 5Thoroughly whisk dissolved liquidy gelatin into the stiff and cool pastry cream.
Step 6Whip 1/2 cup cold heavy cream to stiff peaks and fold into the chilled pastry cream, blending thoroughly.
Step 7Keep chilled until ready to use.