I've never made pastry cream before, but wanted to make some fresh fruit tarts, so I tried the recipe in my cookbook--essentially half-and-half mixed with sugar on the stove, whisk together egg yolks, a little more sugar and some cornstarch in a separate bowl. Add a little of the hot half-and-half to the yolks to temper, then mix it all up on the stove, cook until it gets bubbly on top, remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, and refrigerate until pudding-like.
Except I screwed it up. First of all, without even thinking of the consequences, I substituted evaporated nonfat milk for the half-and-half, because I ALWAYS substitute that for half-and-half or cream. I've been cooking reduced-fat for so many years I don't even think about it anymore. Which I'm sure was a mistake. And secondly, I didn't cook it long enough when mixed, I think, because the butter took a little time to melt, which seemed odd when added to hot sugar and milk.
So now I have sweet milky soup that never congealed. Can this be saved? I was thinking of baking it like a custard in a water bath or something...But I don't want it to turn gummy. Thoughts?