My go-to master pastry cream filling recipe is made with just 6 ingredients! All you need to make this recipe is egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, whole milk, butter, and vanilla bean paste. It's super simple, versatile, and delicious! The egg yolks give it a gorgeous natural yellow color and the vanilla paste adds those beautiful vanilla bean specks! Pastry cream goes with just about anything - use it as a filling for a fruit tart, as the base for a german buttercream, or in these Boston Cream Whoopie Pies!
- Egg Yolks: You'll need 4 large egg yolks for this recipe.
- Sugar: Just enough granulated sugar is added to sweeten this pastry cream. You could also substitute an equal amount of brown sugar for a rich molasses taste, similar to the pastry cream in this Ginger Molasses Cranberry Pie.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps to thicken the pastry cream to the perfect consistency.
- Milk: I recommend using whole milk for optimum flavor.
- Butter: Use room temperature unsalted butter.
- Vanilla: For best flavor, add a touch of vanilla bean paste. It also adds those beautiful vanilla bean specks! Alternatively, add an equal amount of vanilla extract.
Pastry cream is surprisingly simple to make. It involves whisking egg yolks with sugar and cornstarch, then tempering the mixture with simmering whole milk. The mixture is then transferred back to the stove and heated until thick, then butter and vanilla are stirred in. It's best to make the pastry cream the day before you need it, so it can chill in the fridge overnight.
Cornstarch is key to thickening your pastry cream to the right consistency!
Pastry cream is best stored in the fridge up to 5 days. Be sure to press plastic wrap up against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
Recipes using pastry cream
Baking in grams
All of the recipes on this blog are carefully developed to create incredibly delicious baked goods that you can easily recreate in your own kitchen with success. The only way this is possible is to standardize the way ingredients are measured - by weight. Volume measurements are extremely inaccurate and leave room for significant errors. Not all measuring cups are made equally, so your one cup of flour will be different from my one cup of flour. By providing precise measurements in grams (aside from minor ingredients, which are given in tsp/tbsp), I can ensure that you can make the recipe accurately and with less cleanup! All you need is this kitchen scale.
If this still isn't enough to convince you, I have provided volume measurements in the recipe card. If you are interested in understanding the conversions, this is the best conversion chart.
But trust me, once you try baking in grams you'll never turn back!
Happy baking! xPrint
My go-to master pastry cream filling recipe is made with just 6 ingredients!
- 4 egg yolks
- 100g (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 16g (2 tbsp) cornstarch
- 227g ( 1 cup) whole milk
- 28g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter (room temp)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch together for 2-3 minutes until light in color.
- Heat the milk in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer or about 200 degrees F.
- Once the milk is simmering, slowly pour half into the egg-sugar mixture, whisking at the same time to temper the eggs.
- Pour everything back into the saucepan and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly as it thickens.
- Once the pastry cream is thick and a few big bubbles come to the surface, continue whisking for one more minute, then remove from heat.
- Immediately stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and press plastic wrap up against the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
- Chill in the fridge (preferably) overnight or until ready to use.
- It can be difficult to tell when milk is simmering sometimes, so it's best to go by temperature (200 degrees F).
- If you're in a rush and cannot chill the pastry cream overnight, you can place the bowl of pastry cream in a large bowl with ice water and whisk constantly until it has come to room temperature.
- Serving Size: 1 tbsp
- Calories: 69
- Sugar: 8.2 g
- Sodium: 9.5 mg
- Fat: 2.9 g
- Trans Fat:
- Carbohydrates: 9.4 g
- Protein: 1.3 g
- Cholesterol: 57.3 mg
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