Today, for the first time, I took on crème pâtissière. It’s not difficult to make, but I was worried I would err in one way or another and make our day at the bakery even worse. Aviv, dressing himself at 3:45am, accidentally wore an entirely green outfit to work - shirt, pants, and shoes – and while hilarious, this somehow turned him into the Tall Israeli Leprechaun of Bad Luck. Nothing life-altering happened, but a multitude of medium-sized troubles made the day last forever.
I didn’t want to add to his cursed luck by butchering a recipe, so while Aviv was out delivering bread I set myself up with the makings of crème pâtissière: a dozen egg yolks, sugar, milk, flour, and two very splendid vanilla beans. I triple-checked the recipe and measured everything carefully, then split open the curled black pods to scrape out their seeds. Whisked into milk and spinning on the surface, they reminded me of the Milky Way; black galaxies set against a bright white sky. Had Aviv walked in at that moment he would have found me bent over the stove, watching my pot with an odd kind of intensity. Turns out I really love watching vanilla-studded milk boil, and really really love making crème pâtissière. You start with just a few things, follow a recipe, and are rewarded with smooth, pale-yellow joy.
If you’d like to stargaze over your own pot, Martha’s got a recipe here.