Thinkstock - Howard Shooter
This simple French-style pastry cream is perfect for making cream-filled doughnuts, eclairs, and other cream filled pastries.
Prepare your pastry cream ahead of time, so it has time to cool. To make the pastry cream, combine the milk in a sauce pan with ¼ cup of sugar. Bring the milk to a gentle boil. In the meantime, combine the egg yolks with the cornstarch and 1/3 cup of sugar. Whisk together until smooth and lightened. Add the vanilla extract and whisk to incorporate.
Once the milk comes to a boil, add a ladle at a time to the egg mixture, whisking to ensure that the eggs do not curdle. Then return the milk/egg mixture to the pan and heat over medium heat whisking until the pastry cream comes to a boil and thickens, about 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat stir in two tablespoons of butter, and pour the pastry cream into a heatproof boil. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and cool in the fridge before using.