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Pastry cream

Pastry cream

Pastry cream is a classic recipe. It’s like talking about croissants or cheesecake. I would even go so far as to say that pastry cream is even more iconic than these two. It is used for many things, it is used for pies or tarts, for cakes, as a filling, as a frosting, etc. In addition, many people also use it mixed with other types of creams, or they add chocolate or any other ingredient to use it for even more recipes.

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Homemade pastry cream

Now, pastry cream, in my opinion, should always be made with a natural vanilla pod or vanilla bean. If you don’t have the bean you can use liquid vanilla extract, but make sure it is a natural vanilla extract, because it is different.

The beauty of using a vanilla bean for this is that you can see the black specks of vanilla in the cream, and it tastes and smells spectacularly. When you make this recipe the whole kitchen will smell like pastry cream, and you’re going to love it. It is the best smell ever.

How to make pastry cream

Pastry cream is not difficult to make, but what you do have to be careful that it does not burn, because it can burn very easily, so you have to be stirring constantly almost non-stop. If you do not do this, the cream can stick to the bottom and burn, ruining everything.

This is the recipe for a basic pastry cream, i.e. the classic pastry cream. If a recipe calls for pastry cream, you can make this recipe and then use it.

Pastry cream

If you use a vanilla pod to make this pastry cream, be sure to remove it from the cream when you are done, and I recommend that you save it. You can wash it with just some water to get the cream off of it and let it dry completely. Then place it in a small glass jar or container with granulated white sugar (the standard one) and cover it tightly. After a couple of weeks you will have sugar with a vanilla flavor and aroma, this is called vanilla sugar.

Pastry cream recipe

If you like this recipe, you have to see our caramel sauce, a sauce that can be used for many things and is very good.

Pastry cream

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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Refrigeration time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course sweets
Cuisine French
Servings 2 Cups


  • 1 3/4 C + 2 tbsp (450 ml) whole milk
  • The seeds of a vanilla bean or 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2/3 C (133 gr) white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1.2 gr) salt
  • 4 egg yolks, big
  • 1/3 C (50 gr) corn starch
  • 3 tbsp (45 gr) unsalted butter


  • With a sharp knife, cut open the vanilla bean lengthwise and carefully scrape out all the seeds from the inside.
  • In a small saucepan, pour the milk with half of the sugar, the seeds of the vanilla bean, and salt and bring to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a hand whisk.
  • In a medium bowl, using a fork, mix the rest of the sugar with the egg yolks and cornstarch until smooth. Add a little of the hot milk mixture and whisk with the same fork to warm the yolk mixture up.
  • Pour the yolk mixture into the saucepan with the milk and cook over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, continuing to whisk with the hand whisk, until a thicker cream forms. Make sure it doesn't burn.
  • Remove the cream from the heat, add in the butter and mix until well integrated. Pour the pastry cream into another clean bowl, cover it with plastic wrap (which should touch the surface of the cream so that it does not form a crust on top) and refrigerate for 1 hour or until needed.
  • The pastry cream is now ready to be used in many preparations or recipes.
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