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Pastry Cream and Fresh Fruit Trifle recipes from the Country Living Fair 2011 Demonstration

Baking S.O.S. was invited by the organizers of the Country Living Magazine Fair to do a baking demonstration during their 2011 Fair in Columbus, Ohio.  I was scheduled to speak just before several TV show personalities, so I felt a little like a celebrity myself as I gave my demo to an over-flowing audience of at least 100 people (or more!).

As the Executive Chef of Local Matters, I wanted to use as many local foods in my demonstration as possible, so I used farm-fresh eggs from Manchester Hill Farm, whole milk and heavy cream from Snowville Creamery, delicious fresh peaches from Hirsch Fruit Farm, and even a few raspberries from my own back yard.  I made Pastry Cream, which is similar to vanilla pudding, only 1,000 times more delicious when you make it from scratch using quality ingredients.  Then I used the Pastry Cream to make a Peaches and Cream Trifle topped with Snowville Creamery Whipped Cream.  Delicious!!

The recipes AND the tasting samples disappeared in a hurry, so I am posting the recipe here for anyone who didn’t get a copy of the recipe to take home.  Enjoy!

Pastry Cream
2 cups whole milk
2 egg yolks
1 egg
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 Tbls. cornstarch
2 Tbls. unsalted butter, diced
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, scald the milk.  Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, egg & sugar together in a large stainless steel bowl. Then sift the cornstarch into the mixture and whisk all together. Slowly temper the scalded milk into the egg & sugar mixture, then pour into a separate clean saucepan. Over medium heat, stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it comes to a boil & thickens. Remove the pan from heat & stir in butter & vanilla until completely blended. Strain the pastry cream into a shallow pan. Immediately cover with plastic wrap touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill immediately.

To assemble a trifle, you will need:

•    3 8-inch round cake layers
•    1 cup flavored simple syrup*
•    1 recipe Pastry Cream
•    2 pints of assorted fresh fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, mango, kiwi—washed and sliced, plus extra whole fruit for garnish
•    1 recipe Chantilly Cream*

Directions:
1. Place 1 layer of cake on the bottom of a 9-inch round glass trifle bowl. Using a pastry brush or spray bottle, soak the cake layer with simple syrup.
2. Spread half the pastry cream over the cake layer. Top with 1 pint of assorted fruit.
3. Repeat layers. Top with last layer of cake. Decorate top of trifle with Chantilly Cream and garnish wish additional whole fruits around the edge.

*Simple Syrup
•    1 cup granulated sugar
•    1 cup water
•    ¼ cup fruit-flavored liqueur, such as Chambord, Grand Marnier, Apricot Brandy, Crème de Cassis, etc. OR 1 Tbls. Vanilla extract

Directions:
Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, then stop stirring and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add liqueur or vanilla for flavor. Allow to cool to room temp. before using.

*Chantilly Cream
•    1 pint heavy whipping cream
•    ¼ cup granulated sugar
•    1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
Chill a stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes before beginning. Place whipping cream in a well-chilled stainless steel bowl. Whip by hand or machine on medium speed until cream begins to thicken slightly. Gradually add in sugar slowly while continuing to beat. Add vanilla extract, increase speed to high and whip to medium peaks. Use immediately or store in frige for several hours. Re-whip as necessary before serving.