These Mexican cornucopias filled with pastry cream are easy to make, thanks to the availability of puff pastry sheets in local supermarkets. Another important element for this recipe is the cream molds or small stainless-steel cones found at baking equipment stores
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
4 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar or as needed
1 (9-inch by 9-inch) puff pastry sheet, thawed according to package directions
Powdered sugar as garnish
For filling (make ahead up to 3 days): Combine milk and half the amount of sugar in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir to combine ingredients, making sure sugar does not stay at the bottom of pan. Bring to a boil, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together yolks, salt, cornstarch and remaining sugar until thick and pale. Temper yolks by slowing whisking in ½ cup hot cream-milk mixture. Gradually add remaining mixture in a steady stream into yolks, whisking vigorously. Return the egg yolk mixture or custard to a clean saucepan and place over medium heat. Continue cooking until it thickens, whisking continuously, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and transfer to a bowl. Place over an ice bath to cool. Place plastic wrap directly on the custard to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Once cool, transfer to a pastry bag and refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place sugar on a small plate and set aside until ready to use.
Place puff pastry on a clean cutting board. Cut into 16 equal strips. Lightly coat cream molds with a light layer of unflavored cooking spray. Working one at a time, brush one side of each puff pastry strip with water; this will be the side touching the mold.
Starting at the tip of the cream mold, slowly wrap the puff pastry strip onto the mold, overlapping the edges as it spirals to the top. Two puff pastry strips will be needed for each mold. Lightly brush water on the cuernito and roll in the sugar. Place raw cuernitos on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. If re-using molds, place puff pastry strips in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Place cuernitos in the oven on middle oven rack and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Remove molds. Pipe about 1/4 cups of pastry cream into each cuernito. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Makes 8 servings.
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