Pastry Cream

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield

    3 cups

Appears in

Stars Desserts

By Emily Luchetti

Published 1993

  • About

Be sure always to cook pastry cream over medium low heat so that it doesn’t become overcooked or grainy.

Note the variations for other flavored pastry creams.


  • 8 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • cups milk
  • One 4-inch piece vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 tablespoons sweet butter


Place the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk until well blended. Stir in the cornstarch.

Put the milk and vanilla bean in a heavy-bottomed nonreactive pot. Scald the milk and then by hand whisk it slowly into the egg and sugar mixture, removing the vanilla bean.

Transfer the milk-egg mixture back to the pot and cook it over medium low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until thick. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cream and butter. Strain, and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.

Refrigerate the pastry cream for an hour or two until cold.

Pastry cream will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

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