It all started on Pi day. You know, 3.14. I was walking around the park, enjoying the beautiful weather and noticing the signs of a returning Spring, like 8 turtles lined up on a log, sunning themselves, and the new, fresh and tender foliage on the trees and in herb pots. It was gosh darn inspirational!
Anyway, I intended to make a strawberry cream pie like they used to serve at a tiny little restaurant where I grew up named the Char House. If memory serves me well, it was a family run business. They made a really good burger, but the thing that anyone who ever tasted it remembers about the Char House was their strawberry pie. It was housed in a regular (but super flaky delicious) pie crust, had a layer of pastry cream (like custard or pudding) and gorgeous sliced strawberries. However, I was already late on my Pi Pie so I took a few shortcuts. I intended to make a graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust but I couldn't find the cookies I needed (and I refuse to dismantle that many Oreos) so I bought pre-made crusts. Let's just pretend I made them.
The pastry cream recipe was really easy.
Scald (warm) 3 c milk with the seeds from a vanilla bean.
|Vanilla Bean -- split lengthwise and scrape out seeds|
|All the little tiny vanilla seeds float to the top of the milk|
Meanwhile whisk 8 egg yolks and 3/4 c sugar together until light in color.
Stir in 6 T cornstarch into the egg mixture.
Pour 1/3 of the heated milk mixture into the egg mixture and stir it up to temper the eggs. Then pour the egg mixture into the milk pot and cook on medium heat until it comes to a slow boil stirring gently with a whisk the whole time.
Strain your custard mix into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface. Refrigerate. This can be done 3 days ahead.
Thanks so much to my neighbors who helped eat these! I think I got a seal of approval:
See you soon