(Note: Unless you absolutely have wild fantasies of bathing in pastry cream, this dessert is not for you. I have included this post in the blog, but since I was unsatisfied with the result of the recipe, I have not included it in the recipe index. If you like lemon and pudding you can view the revised and improved version of this recipe, lemon pudding).
I’m having trouble with this one. I can hardly think of what to write. I’ve been kind of bad and haven’t written a post in quite a while so maybe I’m just out of practice. I’m 86% sure that is the case.
It’s been often stated that one should blog recently to maintain and increase readership. This blog may be a bit in trouble in terms of maintaining or gaining followers then, because I have not been that great in keeping up with posts lately.
Generally, it’s no problem to write about a certain recipe because I’m always driven to do so by a specific feeling I’m experiencing at a certain moment or by a burst of ideas and creativity. Lately though, sadly to say, my mind has been feeling slightly dormant in the imaginativeness and inventiveness fields…There has been a lack of inspiration which I won’t really worry about at the moment, because to me, making sweets will always be what I love to do, regardless of the number of recipes I post or the quality of each one (yes, some are better than others). There is no doubt about that.
But I will say that since I’ve been in this certain “mind funk”, creating recipes or finding the motivation to go through the whole process of blogging about it has been way more difficult, because as we bloggers know, it all starts in the mind…and in the heart, of course. So lately, because a lack of motivation coming from both places, I have been creating recipes that I have not been completely attached to or thrilled by. The dessert may be delicious, but since there wasn’t a strong motivator, stimulus, or subject of inspiration, I am not super excited like I usually am about the sweets.
Even the pictures of the desserts are suffering from this funk!
So here I present to you one of those recipes where the outcome is quite tasty but the creative part was and felt a bit forced: vanilla and lemon pastry cream. It is a very rich, dense, and citrusy pastry cream that is used instead of pudding for this dessert. As my mom said, “It’s very, very, good.” And even though I should be super excited that she enjoyed it, I know that for this one the whole process did not come as natural as it has in the past. Soon though, one day very soon, the natural flow of blogging from idea–to recipe creation–to photographing–to writing will fall in its place again.
After all, I am a girl of faith.
P.S. Please excuse the quality of the pictures. I’m in Spain for 4 weeks and the only camera that I have is that of my iPhone…I told you I’ve been bad lately… 🙂
**Yield: 5 to 6 small servings; Store in fridge for a maximum of 2-3 days**
1 qt milk
7 T cornstarch
8 oz sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 T lemon zest
5 tsp lemon juice
about 15-18 galletas maria or other thin cookies that are typically used in puddings
ground cinnamon for finish
1. Pour milk and vanilla bean into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let the bean steep for 15 minutes (saucepan should be covered during steeping time). Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into milk. Discard pod.
2. Bring the milk to a quick simmer once again. This should happen quickly, since the milk should already be relatively warm/hot after steeping the vanilla bean.
3. Meanwhile, combine yolks and sugar into a bowl. Sift cornstarch over the bowl and whisk everything together.
4. Once the tempered milk has been brought to a simmer, temper the yolk/sugar/cornstarch mixture by slowly pouring hot milk over mixture while whisking continuously. Pour mixture back into pot and continue to cook over low-medium heat. Whisk mixture continuously and bring to a boil. Cook anywhere between 5 minutes and up to 10 minutes, just until cream is smooth, thick, shiny, and sweet. The taste of corn starch in the pastry cream should disappear as the pastry cream cooks.
5. Sieve pastry cream over a bowl. Add lemon zest and juice to pastry cream and stir.
6. Assemble dessert by placing a cookie on the bottom of a small bowl (the bowl I used was about 2.5″ – 3″ in diameter and 1.5″ in height). Spread about 2 tablespoons of pastry cream over the cookie and place another cookie over the pastry cream. Repeat procedure once more until about 3 cookies are used (the amount of cookies will depend on how much is needed to fill up your specific serving bowl. I recommend using a small serving bowl, since pastry cream is so rich). Spread vanilla lemon pastry cream evenly over top of the last cookie and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours so that cookies soak up the moisture of the cream and become tender.