Classic Pastry Cream

Pastry cream is crème anglaise with the addition of cornstarch or flour and sometimes butter for flavor. With whipped cream folded in, it becomes the base for Diplomat Cream (below); with whipped egg white, it becomes Vanilla Soufflé.


  • 1 cup (8 ounces) milk
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter


Ingredient Preparations

Rest a sieve on top of a 1-quart mixing bowl to strain the pastry cream after it has been cooked.

Pour the milk and half the sugar into a -quart saucepan. Split the vanilla bean with a small knife, scrape out the seeds and place them in the milk.

Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add the remaining sugar and whisk to combine. Then stir in the flour and set aside.

Making the Pastry Cream

Bring the milk mixture just to a boil over medium heat. Turn off heat and pour about half the milk mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking until combined. Pour the mixture back into saucepan; whisk to combine; then return to medium-low heat.

Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil (about 1 to 2 minutes). At this time it will thicken. Continue to stir and simmer until it is smooth and thick (for about 1 minute). Remove from heat and add the butter, stirring until melted and incorporated; then pour the cream through the sieve into the mixing bowl.

Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap, and poke 6 to 8 slits in it with the tip of a knife to allow steam to escape.

Storing the Pastry Cream

Refrigerate for up to 3 days.