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French Pastry Cream

French Pastry Cream



  1. In a medium saucepan (heavy saucepan is best) over medium low heat, add milk.  Let cook for a couple of minutes to warm the milk.  DO NOT boil the milk.
  2. While milk is warming, in a medium bowl, whisk together yolks, corn starch, salt and sugar.  Whisk for 2 minutes until the mix is light in color.  
  3. Once milk is warm, slowly add a small amount to egg mixture whisking continuously.  Add all of the milk and whisk to combine.
  4. Add mixture back to the pot and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously for 2 minutes.  Mixture will thicken.  Once it “burps” and bubbles appear on the surface remove from heat.
  5. Add cold butter and vanilla.  Stir to combine.
  6. Pour pastry cream into a heat proof bowl and cover with saran wrap.  Store in the refrigerator.  


  • If you have lumps in your warm pastry cream, strain it before putting it in the bowl.
  • Be sure to cover the top of cream with saran wrap to prevent skin from forming.
  • Cornstarch must be dissolved in a cold liquid in order to work.  Use cold egg yolks for best results.
  • Vanilla beans make a nice addition to the pastry cream.
  • Keep refrigerated for up to three days.
  • Use whole milk, substituting a low fat milk will not yield the same results.
  • If using salted butter, omit salt.