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Citrus Pastry Cream

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  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon thinly shredded citrus peel (see notes)
  • 1 1/3 cups citrus juice (see notes)
  • 1 large egg yolk


  1. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan, mix sugar, cornstarch, peel, juice, and egg yolk. Stir over high heat until boiling, about 5 minutes.
  2. Nest pan in ice water and stir occasionally until cool, about 10 minutes. Or cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours. Stir before using.
  3. Prep and cook time: about 20 minutes, plus at least 15 minutes to chill.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

If making up to 1 day ahead, cover and chill the cooked mixture.

For the most vibrant color, use blood oranges or ruby grapefruit. Other citrus juices that work well include Cara Cara navel orange, Melogold, pummelo, tangelo, and navel or juice orange. Use peel from your fruit choice to flavor the pastry cream. Fill tarts with the pastry cream or, for a quick dessert, spread the cream thickly onto shortbread cookies.