Search Recipes

Crème pâtissière (pastry cream)

Pastry cream is one of the fundamental preparations of the classic French culinary repertoire. It is simple to make and is used as a filling for baked goods such as éclairs, profiteroles and fruit tarts. The most common fault is lumpiness — to prevent this it is important to constantly stir, or whisk, the thickening custard over the heat. Unlike other types of custard, pastry cream must boil or it will not thicken properly and the flour will not cook. Place a cartouche on the surface once it is cooked to avoid a thick skin forming. Vanilla is the most common flavouring for this custard and you will get the best results by using seeds scraped from a split vanilla bean. Although it is more expensive than vanilla extracts and other vanilla products, the flavour of real vanilla is incomparable.

Creme patissiere (pastry cream)
Creme patissiere (pastry cream)


1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) milk
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) pouring (whipping) cream
4 egg yolks
150 g (5½ oz/⅔ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch) 


1. Put the vanilla seeds, milk and cream in a medium heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat.

2. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until thick and pale (pic 1). Sift together the flour and cornflour, then use a balloon whisk to whisk into the yolk mixture until smooth and well combined. Pour about half the hot milk mixture onto the yolk mixture and whisk until smooth, then whisk in the remaining milk. Clean the pan. Return the mixture to the cleaned pan.

3. Stirring constantly with the balloon whisk to prevent lumps, bring the mixture slowly to the boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, whisking often, for 2 minutes, until thick and smooth (pic 2).

4. Remove from the heat. Transfer to a glass or metal bowl and place a cartouche (a round of non-stick baking paper) on the surface to prevent a skin forming (pic 3). Cool to room temperature. Whisk with a balloon whisk until smooth before using. ème pâtissière can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Main ingredient:


Be the first to comment.

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Recipes - Forum

What we’re cooking

Latest on EK

Pester power: Call for ban on free toys used to sell unhealthy food

Obesity experts say freebies should be restricted to attracting children to healthier options.

Mums' workload equals 2.5 full-time jobs

A study has found working mums toil for an average of 98 hours a week.

How many of our bosses would have aced NAPLAN tests?

In more than 25 years' of journalism, I've never interviewed a leader who topped his or her class at school.

Children's shoes found to contain cancer-causing chemical

The ACCC had issued an urgent recall.

When it comes to sport, boys 'play like a girl'

Girls in primary school are just as physically capable as their male classmates, according to research.

Find After School Care

Search by Postcode

Find a Babysitter

  • Daytime nannies
  • Casual babysitters
  • After-school care
  • Live-in nannies