Pastry Cream (Crème Pâtissière) Recipe

This ‘crème pâtissière’ is a classic recipe which can be flavoured to your liking. Use it in tarts, choux buns, mousses, as a filling for cakes etc.

Pastry cream is a “building block recipe” that can be used in so many ways. As a filling for cakes, eclairs, layered into parfaits, or as a base for a cream pie, you will never run out of uses for this versatile item.

Hopefully this shows how easy homemade pastry cream is to make. If you’ve never tasted it before, it’s sort of like a cross between creme brulee and vanilla pudding.

I used to make huge hotel pans of it every week, back in my days in the professional kitchen, and we always used regular dairy milk. But now, in my home kitchen, it’s just small batches, and lately I’ve really been loving coconut milk pastry cream, for a dairy-free option.


  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 125 g sugar
  • 40 g flour or cornflour


1- Bring the milk to the boil with the split vanilla pod. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the mixer bowl with the wire whisk on speed 6 for 2 minutes until very pale and thick. Sieve over the flour or cornflour and beat until well-blended.

2- Bring the milk back to the boil, remove the vanilla pod and slowly pour onto the creamed mixture. Mix with the wire whisk on speed 1 until amalgamated. Pour the cream back into the saucepan and cook on a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the cream comes to the boil and starts to thicken.

3- Gently simmer for 1 minute to cook out the flour, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and cover the surface with clingfilm to prevent a skin from forming on the surface as it cools.

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