A rich and luscious filling for fresh fruit tarts or little pastries, known in France as crème pâtissière and in Italy as crema pasticcera.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk in a small pan. Add bean and heat gently to boiling point. Whisk egg yolks, sugar and flour together in a small bowl until thick. Pour milk gently into the egg mixture, whisking lightly until smooth. Return the mixture to a clean pan and cook gently for a few minutes, stirring constantly, as the mixture heats and thickens. Boil gently for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Discard vanilla bean, and strain through a coarse sieve into a bowl. Cover with cling-wrap, pressing the plastic against the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Chill until required.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.