site stats



The Secret to Perfect Pastry Cream


The Secret to Perfect Pastry Cream




Pastry cream, also known as crème pâtissière, is a rich, creamy custard that is a staple in many classic

desserts. It’s used in éclairs, cream puffs, tarts, and as a filling for cakes and pastries. Getting the


perfect consistency and flavor can seem challenging, but with the right technique, it’s easily

achievable. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating the ultimate pastry cream.



2 cups (480 ml) whole milk

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar, divided


1 vanilla bean (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)

5 large egg yolks

1/4 cup (30 g) cornstarch

2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

The Secret to Perfect Pastry Cream



The Secret to Perfect Pastry Cream new york times recipes



Prepare the Milk Mixture:

In a medium saucepan, combine the whole milk with half of the granulated sugar (1/4 cup) and the

seeds from the vanilla bean. If using vanilla extract, add it later.


Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally to

ensure the sugar dissolves.

Prepare the Egg Mixture:

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the remaining granulated sugar (1/4 cup), and the

cornstarch until the mixture is smooth and pale in color. This will take about 2-3 minutes.

Temper the Eggs:

Once the milk mixture is hot, slowly pour about 1/3 of it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to

temper the eggs. This step prevents the eggs from curdling by gradually increasing their temperature.

Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk, continuing to


whisk constantly.

Cook the Pastry Cream:

Return the saucepan to medium heat and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens and

starts to bubble. This will take about 2-3 minutes. Once it starts to bubble, cook for an additional 1-2

minutes to ensure the cornstarch is fully cooked.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately whisk in the butter (and vanilla extract if you

didn’t use a vanilla bean).

Strain and Cool:

Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any lumps or pieces of

cooked egg.

Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from


Allow the pastry cream to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled, at least

2 hours.

Tips for Success

Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh milk, eggs, and butter make a noticeable difference in the taste and

texture of your pastry cream.

Whisk Constantly: This ensures the cream is smooth and prevents any lumps from forming.

Strain the Cream: This step is crucial for a silky smooth texture, free of any cooked egg bits.

Cool Properly: Cooling with plastic wrap directly on the surface prevents a skin from forming, which

can ruin the texture of your cream.


Chocolate Pastry Cream: Add 4 ounces (113 g) of chopped dark chocolate to the hot pastry cream

after removing it from the heat. Whisk until the chocolate is fully melted and incorporated.

Coffee Pastry Cream: Dissolve 2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules in the hot milk mixture before

tempering the eggs.

Usage Ideas

Fill Éclairs and Cream Puffs: Pipe the chilled pastry cream into éclairs or cream puffs for a classic

French dessert.

Layer in Cakes: Use as a filling between cake layers for a rich, creamy addition.

Tarts: Fill pre-baked tart shells with pastry cream and top with fresh fruits for a stunning dessert.



Pastry cream is a versatile and essential component in many desserts. Mastering this recipe will

elevate your baking skills and allow you to create an array of delicious treats. Enjoy the rich, creamy

texture and the wonderful flavor that perfect pastry cream brings to your desserts!

For more recipes click here

Thank you for follow me on facebook.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button