Pastry Cream

1 1/2 cups (355 mL) whole milk (can use lactose-free)
5 large egg yolks (at room temperature)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (130 grams) granulated sugar
½ vanilla bean, cut in half length-wise, seeds scraped*
2 tablespoons (10 grams) cornstarch
1 tablespoon (7 grams) flour
1 tablespoon (15 mL) Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter
pinch of salt

Heat milk in a small saucepan with the vanilla bean and seeds over medium-high heat until it’s just before the boiling point. You’ll see a skin form on the top of the liquid, and the milk will appear to “dance” underneath the surface. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. With electric mixer (use paddle attachment if using a stand mixer), beat on medium-high speed until the eggs are thick and pale, and fall back on themselves in a ribbon, about four or five minutes. Reduce speed to low and add cornstarch, flour, and salt.

With mixer on low, slowly pour in a little scalded milk. Continue pouring adding milk slowly, to raise the temperature of the eggs. When mixed, transfer to a large saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens. Don’t worry if it appears to curdle, simply switch to a whisk and it will come together again.

Remove from heat. Add butter, Grand Marnier, and vanilla; whisk to combine. Pour cream through a sieve into a medium-sized bowl. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream, refrigerate until cool. (For faster cooling, place bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water.)

*Can substitute 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. Add the extract at the end, off heat.
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