Place a medium size glass bowl in the freezer to chill.
In a small saucepan, heat milk with the vanilla and lemon zest just till you see steam rising, then remove from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk the yolks and sugar, add rice flour and whisk till smooth and thick.
Pour the warmed milk slowly into the egg mixture**, stirring constantly. Once fully combined, place the saucepan on medium-low heat. Keep stirring till it thickens (around 5 minutes), ensuring it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, then remove from the heat.
Pour the custard into the chilled bowl and whisk quickly to cool it down. Place plastic film directly over the custard to prevent a skin from forming and leave on the counter to cool. Once cool, place in the fridge and use within 2 days.
Further details are in the post above
This is a great make ahead recipe as the custard tastes even better after resting.
Use whole milk and fresh eggs for best results.
Do not overheat the milk, just heat till you see steam rising. If it is too hot it will scramble the eggs.
Zest half a lemon using a microplane or grater, taking care not to grate the bitter white pith.
*If using a vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add the pod and seeds to the milk.
Variations - instead of lemon and vanilla, add 1 teaspoon almond extract, 1 tablespoon orange zest, or ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
Instead of rice flour, you could use the same amount of cornstarch/cornflour or potato starch/potato flour.
**Pour the warmed milk slowly into the egg mixture while whisking, to temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling.
Cover with plastic film, laying it directly on top of the custard so it doesn't form a skin, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Straight out of the fridge, the custard will be firm so before using, whisk the custard to a soft and smooth consistency.
Italian Pastry Cream Recipe
Amount Per Serving (100 g)
Calories 2Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Vitamin A 3IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
* Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.